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SOLD OUT – Branded to Kill

Seijun Suzuki

When Japanese New Wave bad boy Seijun Suzuki delivered this brutal, hilarious, and visually inspired masterpiece to the executives at his studio, he was promptly fired. Branded to Kill tells the ecstatically bent story of a yakuza assassin with a fetish for sniffing steamed rice (the chipmunk-cheeked superstar Joe Shishido) who botches a job and ends up a target himself. This is Suzuki at his most extreme—the flabbergasting pinnacle of his sixties pop-art aesthetic. – Janus Films

“Branded to Kill is a drunken dream of a film; the kind, once slept on, you can’t believe you ever really saw.” Daily Telegraph

“Just as Shishido cracks up and enters a surreal nightmare world, so Suzuki breaks the film down into a bizarre but beguiling chain of absurdist, OTT, barely related elements. It looks a little like golden-age Godard (but far more stylish). The climax, oddly reminiscent of Point Blank (made the same year), shows how much further Suzuki was prepared to push even than Boorman, let alone Hollywood. Occasionally mystifying, but always witty, inventive and dazzling to look at.” Time Out

“The everything-but-the-kitchen-sink stylistic exuberance of Branded was the apotheosis of a process of ever-bolder experimentation that had been underway throughout much of Suzuki’s time at Nikkatsu.” Art Fourm

“This movie has gone on to rightfully earn a reputation as one of the great Japanese films of the 60’s, and has influenced some of our most treasured modern independent filmmakers, including Wong Kar-wai and Jim Jarmusch. While Branded to Killmay lack the emotional thrust of Suzuki’s masterpiece Gate of Flesh, it more than makes up for that in anarchist spirit, which makes it an essential work by one of the strangest artists to ever pick up a camera.” Cine File

“An extraordinary sensory experience” Slant

 

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  • 1/3 | 7:30PM
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