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The Taisho Trilogy

MUBI Special

After being effectively exiled from the Japanese movie studios after repeatedly making wildly inspired genre films that purposefully go off the rails into abstracted violence, theatrical artifice, and pure beauty, director Seijun Suzuki made his triumphant comeback with three sumptuous, strange and decadent films set in the Taisho era (1912 – 1926) of a rapidly modernizing Japan.


Seijun Suzuki Japan, 1991


A painter-poet becomes enveloped in the romance, life and death swirling around him, conceived with a beguilingly serene surrealism by studio exile Seijun Suzuki. His final film set in Japan’s decadent Taisho era has the infamously esoteric director dramatizing—in his mad way—the life of an artist.


Seijun Suzuki Japan, 1981


The second entry in Japanese style-mad, rule-breaking genius Seijun Suzuki’s series of films set in the decadent Taisho era, Heat-Haze Theatre is a fever dream version of a period romance. Upending conventions of dramatic logic, its a sinister, visually flamboyant descent into madness—or is it love?


Seijun Suzuki Japan, 1980


After being fired from his studio in 1967 for his radical approach to genre filmmaking, Seijun Suzuki came back in style with his trilogy of films set in the Taisho era of Japan’s 1920s. He obviously lost none of his verve for outlandish storytelling and exquisite flourishes of color and set-design!

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