Suzuki Seijun 100
Screening Dates
  • August 21, 2023 6:30
  • August 25, 2023 8:20

Prefigures the mood of the later [Taisho trilogy] … Recalls the early romantic melodramas of Ozu and Naruse—and it’s a measure of Suzuki’s exceptional talent that his film isn’t diminished by the comparison.”

Tony Rayns

Suzuki critics are split on when the director made his first unfettered cri de cœur. But Suzuki himself was certain: it was this first film he made with art director Kimura Takeo, who shared his affinity for bold and transformative ways of crossing and commingling spaces. Nikkatsu approved, but they must have missed how blatantly this portrait of an artist as a young man courts only to defy convention. In the Taisho era, brash and mentorless student Konno, newly expelled and expecting to rush to Tokyo, is instead deposited in the backwater school operated by his traditionalist uncle. A modernist fish in a conservative pond, Konno turns truant, begins a romance coded through a banned Strindberg text, and rebounds the scolds of local morality police into Platonic dialogues. Suzuki uses these confrontations as occasions to break continuity, demolish the fourth wall, and flirt with potentialities that arrive in full force in his later Taisho films.

In Japanese with English subtitles

“[Suzuki’s] brackish, jazz-like direction feeds melodrama with anger, humour, and genuine sadness.”

Judy Bloch, BAMPFA