Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Seijun Suzuki Introduction

"Like any shrewd workman, Suzuki was at his best when turning his limitations into strengths. Crowded shooting schedules encouraged impromptu technical experimentation, such as the in-camera superimpositions that became a unique Suzukian flourish when depicting internal states. Meanwhile, with the assistance of longtime production design collaborator Takeo Kimura, tawdry studio-built sets were embraced for their flimsiness, and it became a trend for Suzuki to disassemble them in the climaxes of his films so that his characters were suddenly adrift in two-dimensional color fields. In repeatedly calling attention to the artificiality of the medium and the construction of the narrative world, Suzuki’s form began to mirror his governing conception of society as a set of meaningless codes whose flimsy sense of order could easily be thrown into chaos."

"Time and Place are Nonsense: The Cinema According to Seijun Suzuki," a traveling program focused on the career of Japanese director Seijun Suzuki, is coming to the Harvard Film Archive. I wrote the introduction to the series, as well as program notes for Gate of Flesh, Youth of the Beast, Kanto Wanderer, Carmen from Kawachi, Fighting Elegy, and Story of a Prostitute. Read on here.

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