Artist of the Year 2020? Takeo Kimura

ピストルオペラ Pistol Opera (2001)

It’s so good seeing Suzuki work in the blown out early 2000s digital video aesthetic. I might like this even more than the coloring of Tokyo Drifter.

Still from Pistol Opera

カポネ大いに泣く Capone Cries a Lot (1985)

Still from Capone Cries a Lot

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.

Still from Zigeunerweisen

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.

Still from Branded to Kill

東京流れ者 Tokyo Drifter (1966)

Still from Tokyo Drifter

けんかえれじい Fighting Elegy (1966)

Still from Fighting Elegy

刺青一代 Tattooed Life (1965)

Worth it if only for the genre/style shift in the finale.

Still from Tattooed Life

河内カルメン Carmen from Kawachi (1966)

Still from Carmen from Kawachi

春婦伝 Story of a Prostitute (1965)

Still from Story of a Prostitute

肉体の門 Gate of Flesh (1964)

Still from Gate of Flesh

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.

Still from Our Blood Will Not Forgive

関東無宿 Kanto Wanderer (1963)

Still from Kanto Wanderer