films seen
12/57
average score
2.45*
nationality
Japan - 93 years old
status
R.I.P. (1923 - 2017)
more info

Japanese maverick director with an inimitable oeuvre. An amiable man and a proponent of style over substance cinema. I'm not the biggest fan of his oldskool aesthetics, but required viewing for people with a taste for the weird.

Rare treats

Pistol Opera

by Seijun Suzuki
Also known as
Pisutoru Opera
Specifics
Japan [2001] - 112m
Genre
Comedy, Crime
More info on
rating
4.5*/5.0*
toplist position
Pistol Opera poster

Pistol Opera is not the easiest of films. You have to accept that the story is a mere hook for some cinematic fun while Suzuki takes a little run with his audience.

Solid pieces

Princess Raccoon

by Seijun Suzuki
Also known as
Operetta Tanuki Goten
Specifics
Japan [2005] - 111m
Genre
Comedy, Fantasy, Musical
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Princess Raccoon poster

Yumeji

by Seijun Suzuki
Specifics
Japan [1991] - 128m
Genre
Drama, Biography
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Yumeji poster

One of Suzuki's better films. It's what more poetic than your average biography, leaning on beautiful imagery, a strong soundtrack and some trademark Suzuki weirdness. There's a little too much dialogue at times and the quality isn't entirely consistent, but there's plenty to like here, especially if you're a fan of Suzuki's more experimental side.

The inoffensive

Lupin III: Legend of the Gold of Babylon

by Seijun Suzuki, Shigetsugu Yoshida
Also known as
Rupan Sansei: Babiron no Ogon Densetsu
Specifics
Japan [1985] - 100m
Genre
Comedy, Adventure, Animation
More info on
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Lupin III: Legend of the Gold of Babylon poster

A typical Lupin adventure, made slightly more interesting by Seijun Suzuki's involvement and a very strong 70s vibe that runs through the film. It doesn't change too much about the core of Lupin though. Silly, over-the top action, a charming set of characters and one-dimensional bad guys. A fun diversion, but nothing more.

A Mummy's Love

by Seijun Suzuki
Also known as
Miira no Koi
Specifics
Japan [1973] - 45m
Genre
Horror, Mystery
More info on
rating
3.0*/5.0*
A Mummy's Love poster

Suzuki doing horror is quite new for me, but the man has a knack for the weird so it's actually a pretty good match. The film is short, even so quite a lot happens in a short span of time. The story is mysterious and strange rather than full-on horror, with a little comedy thrown in to balance things out. Surprisingly fun and entertaining.

Dubious filler

Heat-Haze Theatre

by Seijun Suzuki
Also known as
Kagero-za
Specifics
Japan [1981] - 139m
Genre
Romance, Mystery
More info on
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Heat-Haze Theatre poster

Much like Zigeunerweisen, this is a Suzuki film that holds a lot of potential, but is way too long and gets a bit sluggish after a while. If Suzuki had managed to cut this back to 90-100 minutes it would've been a much better film, now it took me quite a bit of effort and stamina to reach the end.

That's not to say nothing interesting happens. Suzuki remains his old self and quirky, weird and goofy ideas are littered throughout the film. The biggest problem is the moments in between, the sometimes endless conversations and theater performances that seem to suck much of the energy out of Heat-haze Theatre.

The cinematography is interesting, often very colorful and well-framed. The soundtrack is a bit too dependent on classic Japanese songs and the plot a bit too sparse to fill 140 minutes, but at least Suzuki kept it interesting until the end. It's just a shame that there are too many generic intermissions.

Youth of the Beast

by Seijun Suzuki
Also known as
Yajû no Seishun
Specifics
Japan [1963] - 92m
Genre
Action, Crime
More info on
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Youth of the Beast poster

An early Suzuki that show signs of a budding director. The film is little more than a typical Yakuza tale, but a more outspoken set design, decent use of color and the presence of Jô Shishido give the film some extra flair. It's not a bad effort, but a little too basic to be engaging, especially when comparing it to Suzuki's later films.

Underworld Beauty

by Seijun Suzuki
Also known as
Ankokugai no Bijo
Specifics
Japan [1958] - 87m
Genre
Action, Crime
More info on
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Underworld Beauty poster

Plain forgettable

Zigeunerweisen

by Seijun Suzuki
Also known as
Tsigoineruwaizen
Specifics
Japan [1980] - 144m
Genre
Horror, Mystery
More info on
rating
1.5*/5.0*
Zigeunerweisen poster

Branded to Kill

by Seijun Suzuki
Also known as
Koroshi no Rakuin
Specifics
Japan [1967] - 91m
Genre
Crime
More info on
rating
1.5*/5.0*
Branded to Kill poster

Tokyo Drifter

by Seijun Suzuki
Also known as
Tôkyô Nagaremono
Specifics
Japan [1966] - 82m
Genre
Action, Crime
More info on
rating
1.5*/5.0*
Tokyo Drifter poster

Life of a Tattooed Man

by Seijun Suzuki
Also known as
Irezumi Ichidai
Specifics
Japan [1965] - 87m
Genre
Drama, Crime
More info on
rating
1.5*/5.0*
Life of a Tattooed Man poster