It took me some time to figure out that this is actually a post modern western movie disguised as a yakuza film. That combined with an unusual amount of self irony and humor makes it a very unique viewing experience. Very glad I was able to watch it in an actual cinema.
Can the design of a film get in the way of its story? Stylistically a masterpiece, but the story relies heavily on plot mechanics and so, at points, the lack of clarity in the storytelling causes frustation. Emotion over content with a story that relies heavily on cognition is a risky game. I am jealous that Suzuki was able to make films in this way; it would never fly now.
A candy coated take on yakuza conventions in this strange blending of genres from Seijun Suzuki that didn't quite live up to its reputation for me Amazing use of the wide screen form and a spectacular swath of colour didn't quite make up for the dispassionate performances or sense of parody.
Probably influenced every director you love with its style and grit. It's a pretty great japanese gangster flick with the main character trying to go straight after his gang disintegrates. Totally worth watching for some of the gun fights and fist fights.
Like Douglas Sirk more jaded than ever and on acid doing a Yakuza noir - And even a bit of Western thrown in, I'd say. Sometimes the effect is more jarring than is helpful to a viewer trying to keep track of what's going on. I didn't grasp everything the first time, I'm pretty sure, but there is mastery abound - this much, I am sure of. Could go up to four stars eventually.