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664 Ratings

Youth of the Beast

Yajû no seishun

Directed by Seijun Suzuki
Japan, 1963
Action, Crime, Thriller


When a mysterious stranger muscles into two rival yakuza gangs, Tokyo’s underworld explodes with violence. Youth of the Beast was a breakthrough for director Seijun Suzuki, introducing the flamboyant colors, hallucinatory images, and striking compositions that would become his trademark.

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Youth of the Beast Directed by Seijun Suzuki

Critics reviews

Suzuki’s voracious exploration of sensory overload (and information overload) is most clearly expressed through his continuous use of multilayered images, of frames within frames. «My view is that film is nothing but a form», the filmmaker once said in an interview. The concreteness of the Tokyo locations and the violent action are destabilized constantly destabilized, moving into the realm of the abstract and hallucinatory through Suzuki’s use of space and composition.
October 09, 2017
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There are drug-addled whores, gunfights in a toxin-hued apocalypse, and at least one alien landscape — a a mind-searing eruption of sulphur yellow desert like an action-figure playset reeking of sex. Suzuki’s infectious go-for-broke energy is assisted by wide-angle lenses and stunning production design that add a Minnelli-worthy sensuousness to the picture’s ’Scope framing.
June 30, 2017
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[Suzuki’s] second collaboration with chipmunk-cheeked muse Jo Shishido, and a lunatic crime film that still manages to (barely) hold together its overly-complex plot.
November 06, 2015
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