Two former colleagues meet a geisha called Koine. Suzuki, sometimes called “the Magician of Images and Colours,” weaves bizarre twists and enigmas into this psychedelic kaleidoscope thriller, an aesthetic masterpiece. Named after the Sarasate, Zigeunerweisen, it was Suzuki’s first fully independent production. –Cannes Film Festival
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
This is about as far away from a movie like Branded to Kill as you can get. Free of studio constraints Suzuki was finally able to make a truly personal film. The problem is that it's about an hour too long. This is a very slow-paced film, almost excruciatingly and unnecessarily so. There are moments of chilling beauty and some absolutely striking images, and eerie sound design, but then there's a lot of filler material. Given that there were so many moments of brilliance, I just wanted there to be more. Hopefully, the next two installments in the Taisho Trilogy are more well-constructed.
While trademark expressionism is subdued (by his age, budgetary constraints and fully aged protagonists) Suzuki feels as though he is finally able to take his time to delve into more complicated allegory and analysis behind the voids and disconnects we create through unrequited desires. What starts as sensual tale of triangular love, ends in ghostly and reflective memory-scape, confirming adult coming-of-age themes.
A mysterious, ethereal drama concerning the relationships between and forces within four people; intermittently distorted, like watching someone walk behind a pane of imperfect glass, the form itself intact and then suddenly twisted and obscured, then back again. We're not sure what actually happened, what is dreamed, and what is misremembered.