In the shady black markets and bombed-out hovels of post-World War II Tokyo, a tough band of prostitutes eke out a dog-eat-dog existence, maintaining tenuous friendships and a semblance of order in a world of chaos. But when a renegade ex-soldier stumbles into their midst, lusts and loyalties clash, with tragic results. With Gate of Flesh, visionary director Seijun Suzuki delivers a whirlwind of social critique and pulp drama, shot through with brilliant colors and raw emotions. —The Criterion Collection
Seijun Suzuki (鈴木 清順, Suzuki Seijun?), born Seitaro Suzuki (鈴木 清太郎 Suzuki Seitarō) on May 24, 1923, is a Japanese filmmaker, actor, and screenwriter. His films are renowned by film enthusiasts worldwide for their jarring visual style, irreverent humour, nihilistic cool and entertainment-over-logic sensibility. He made 40 predominately B-movies for the Nikkatsu Company between 1956 and 1967, working most prolifically in the yakuza genre. His increasingly surreal style began to draw the ire of the studio in 1963 and culminated in his ultimate dismissal for what is now regarded his magnum opus, Branded to Kill (1967), starring notable collaborator Joe Shishido. Suzuki successfully sued the studio for wrongful dismissal but was blacklisted for 10 years. As an independent filmmaker he won critical acclaim and a Japanese Academy Award for his Taishō Trilogy, Zigeunerweisen (1980), Kagero-za (1981) and Yumeji (1991).
His films remained widely unknown outside of Japan until a series… read more
There is such a distinct sense of environment and place but no real sense of home. Suzuki brings the violence of this lifestyle to the forefront by depicting violence and sexuality being almost inseparable for these women. The code that they live by actually makes anything resembling real passion the girls' enemy. The girls affections for the soldier brilliantly signifies the damaged state Japan was in.
"Driven by migraine pulse beats hammered out on lonely tom-toms, and fluttering with backward close-ups of Old Glory waving vainly over a land of rising slums, Gate of Flesh—later joined by Story of a Prostitute (1965) and Carmen from Kawachi (1966)—doesn’t just inaugurate Suzuki’s so-called 'flesh trilogy'; it completes a sixties triumvirate of dystopian, Japan-as-junkyard panoramas, bookended by Oshima’s The Sun’s Burial (1960) and Kurosawa’s Dodes’ka-den (1970). Fittingly, when asked to comment on the playful nihilism that characterizes so much of his work, Suzuki once told critic Satō Tadao: 'I think that what remains in our memory is not ‘construction’ but ‘destruction.’ Making things is not what counts. The power that destroys them is.'"—Chuck Stephens
Cult director Suzuki's gritty account of a band of prostitutes working the rubble-strewn streets of post-war Tokyo is achieved using bright primary colours, expressionistic camerawork and bold production design. Sexual conflict arises among the group when an ex-soldier on the run from the military police hides out with them. Knowingly melodramatic and intentionally garish, this is thrilling and trashy entertainment..
Todavia trabajando para el estudio Nikkatsu, en el que realizó sus aventuras mas desquicidas hasta que lo echaron cuando la cosa se puso un poquito mas intolerante con la inmesa “Branded to Kill”… read review
Seijun Suzuki is a mad genius.
Really. He is quite marvellous in spinning these visually phantasmagorias filled with neon colors and cinemascope compositions so eclectic your head with stretch… read review