Action, Anarchy, and Audacity: A Seijun Suzuki Retrospective |
鈴木清順・レトロスペクティブ Film Retrospective

Presented by JICC, Embassy of Japan and the Freer|Sackler with the cooperation of the Japan Foundation

To experience a film by Japanese B-movie visionary Seijun Suzuki is to experience Japanese cinema in all its frenzied, voluptuous excess.

Manohla Dargis

In a career spanning nearly five decades, Seijun Suzuki amassed a body of work ranging from B movie potboilers to beguiling metaphysical mysteries. On the occasion of the publication of Time and Place are Nonsense: The Films of Seijun Suzuki by Freer|Sackler Curator of Film Tom Vick, the Freer|Sackler is presenting a touring retrospective of Suzuki's films. This series is co-organized with the Japan Foundation and presented in conjunction with the Sackler exhibition Sōtatsu: Making Waves.

In celebration of the Freer|Sackler's retrospective, the Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC), Embassy of Japan, will present two more rare classics from Suzuki's Nikkatsu Studios heyday. Screening materials courtesy of the Japan Foundation.

Man With a Shotgun | 散弾銃(ショットガン)の男
Wednesday, December 2 - 6:30pm
JICC

One of Studio Nikkatsu's infamous "borderless-action" western-inspired films, Man with a Shotgun introduces us to Ryoji, a travelling stranger who wanders into a remote mountain village. Wielding a shotgun, he says he's come for “the hunting,” but is actually traveling the mountains in search of his fiancée's killer. When Ryoji discovers the necklace he had given to his fiancée abandoned at a local bar, he quickly realizes her murderer must be nearby. As he tries to uncover the killer's identity and seek his revenge, Ryoji becomes entangled with the town's local politics, uncovering a crime ring that may hold the key to his search...

The film stars Hideaki Nitani (Tokyo Drifter) as Ryoji in a "singing cowboy" role reminiscent of early Hollywood westerns.

Man With a Shotgun
Japanese w. English subtitles | 1961 | 84 min | Directed by Seijun Suzuki

Please note that all films are unrated.

The Breeze on the Ridge | 峠を渡る若い風
Thursday, December 3 - 6:30pm
JICC

Tom Vick, Curator of Film at the Freer|Sackler will introduce the film.

Shintaro, a free-spirited university student, tags along with a magic troupe one summer as they travel from festival to festival. Although penniless, Shintaro does have goods to sell – a whole heap of ladies panties given to him as "salary" from his previous job at the now-bankrupt undergarment factory – and plans to hawk them at the festivals. Surrounded by the colorful and sometimes seedy festival members, Shintaro finds himself involved in a variety of startling situations involving strippers, gangsters, potential murder, and a star-crossed relationship with the head magician's daughter. But these are the least of his problems when the proud head magician decides to risk it all for the sake of continuing the show.

A unique combination of comedy and action-parody, this early film displays hints of Suzuki’s later visual aesthetic in its use of colored lighting. Suzuki himself would later remark in 1985 that he greatly enjoyed making this film.

The Breeze on the Ridge
Japanese w. English subtitles | 1961 | 84 min | Directed by Seijun Suzuki

Please note that all films are unrated.

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