Artist of the Year 2020: Seijun Suzuki
I spent 2020 watching through Seijun Suzuki's work (mostly) chronologically. This was a more diligent attempt at something that I first tried in 2019.
Movies are listed in watch order
影なき声 Voice Without a Shadow (1958)
踏みはずした春 The Boy Who Came Back (1958)
暗黒街の美女 Underworld Beauty (1958)
８時間の恐怖 Eight Hours of Terror (1957)
１３号待避線より その護送車を狙え Take Aim at the Police Van (1960)
すべてが狂ってる Everything Goes Wrong (1960)
密航０ライン Smashing the 0-Line (1960)
散弾銃の男 The Man with a Shotgun (1961)
東京騎士隊 Tokyo Knights (1961)
ハイティーンやくざ Teenage Yakuza (1962)
野獣の青春 Youth of the Beast (1963)
探偵事務所２３ くたばれ悪党ども Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell, Bastards! (1963)
関東無宿 Kanto Wanderer (1963)
俺たちの血が許さない Our Blood Will Not Forgive (1964)
So many interesting visual sequences here, some of which individually make returns in later films, but the density of them makes this special.
肉体の門 Gate of Flesh (1964)
春婦伝 Story of a Prostitute (1965)
河内カルメン Carmen from Kawachi (1966)
刺青一代 Tattooed Life (1965)
Worth it if only for the genre/style shift in the finale.
けんかえれじい Fighting Elegy (1966)
東京流れ者 Tokyo Drifter (1966)
殺しの烙印 Branded to Kill (1967)
I first watched this in 2008. It was the first Suzuki film I'd seen, and was the seed for this year's Artist of the Year selection. It's hard for me to neutrally assess this, since it clearly left an impact on me then. It was nice seeing so many motifs from earlier films reappear here, even if I'm more impressed with their utilization in the earlier films. It's remarkable how otherwise stylistically distinct it is from his other Nikkatsu work.
悲愁物語 A Tale of Sorrow and Sadness (1977)
ツィゴイネルワイゼン Zigeunerweisen (1980)
Additionally read the source short story, The Sarasate Disk
I keep returning to this one. While it didn't grab me in the moment, it's certainly the Suzuki film I've spent the most time thinking about.
陽炎座 Kagero-za (1981)
夢二 Yumeji (1991)
カポネ大いに泣く Capone Cries a Lot (1985)