Suzuki Seijun 100
Screening Dates
  • August 19, 2023 6:30
  • August 21, 2023 8:40

As pitch-perfect a distillation of pulp cinema as the best works of Samuel Fuller, Andre De Toth, or Anthony Mann.”

Marc Walkow, Film Comment

Even when he was a powerless Nikkatsu studio cog, Suzuki Seijun loved cinema. So much so that after receiving the assignment for the bus-hostage thriller Eight Hours of Terror, he saw something more than another three-week shoot and three-day edit: a chance to invoke and rework one of his favourite films, John Ford’s Stagecoach. Cramming faces, ideals, and reversible identities of criminal and citizen into a single Tokyo-bound bus on a narrow trucking route, Suzuki, rather than merely reminding us of a classic, comes into his own. The tension comes not from guns—though gangsters do show up—or cliffsides—though they are a constant reminder of the stakes of this deathly commute—but from a central question in Suzuki’s cinema: will the appearance of authority rule the day, or is there the possibility of rebellion among a collagist section of society? Suzuki doesn’t make speeches out of this business—this is a film built out of cool observation and fierce reframings of action.

In Japanese with English subtitles

Suzuki’s riff on one of his favourite films, John Ford’s Stagecoach, as well as one of his best early thrillers.”

William Carroll