MARCH 2-3, 11-12
“Seijun Suzuki is a master stylist and one of Japanese cinema's greatest innovators.”
“To experience a film by Japanese B-movie visionary Seijun Suzuki is to experience Japanese cinema in all its frenzied, voluptuous excess.”
MANOHLA DARGIS, THE CRITERION COLLECTION
In a career spanning nearly five decades, Seijun Suzuki, now 92, amassed a body of work ranging from B-movie potboilers to beguiling metaphysical mysteries. On the occasion of the publication of Time and Place Are Nonsense: The Films of Seijun Suzuki (Smithsonian Institution, 2015) by Tom Vick, a travelling retrospective of the director’s work has been organized by the Freer and Sacker Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and The Japan Foundation.
“The eccentric visionary of genre cinema ... His work is subversively and joyfully excessive.”
AUSTRIAN FILM MUSEUM
Suzuki first became famous when he was fired by Nikkatsu Studios for making films that, as he put it, “made no sense and made no money.” But it was his freewheeling approach and audacious experimentation that gained Suzuki a cult following in Japan and abroad. Suzuki’s job at Nikkatsu was to make B-movies out of scripts that were assigned to him. In the mid-1960s, with dozens such films under his belt, Suzuki’s restlessness began to come through as he and his collaborators, art director Takeo Kimura and cinematographers Shigeyoshi Mine and Kazue Nagatsuka, began experimenting with the assigned material. These films established Suzuki as a stylistic innovator working within — and rebelling against — the commercial constraints of B-movie studio work.
“A brilliant nonconformist ... An energizing source for directors as different as Kitano Takeshi, Jim Jarmusch, Wong Kar-Wai, and John Woo.”
TOM CHARITY, THE ROUGH GUIDE TO FILM
In the 1990s, retrospectives in Europe and North America — including one at the Vancouver International Film Festival in 1991 — brought long-overdue attention to Suzuki’s films in the West. A new generation of devotees, most notably Jim Jarmusch and Quentin Tarantino, praised Suzuki in the press and referenced his work in their films.
The Cinematheque’s Vancouver presentation of the films of Seijun Suzuki showcases ten remarkable works from this irreverent, deliriously stylish, outrageously entertaining director’s peak period, the 1960s, and includes all his greatest hits.
Acknowledgements: This travelling retrospective was programmed and organized by Tom Vick, Curator of Film, Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution (Washington D.C.). It was co-organized by and is co-presented with the Japan Foundation.
Film notes by Tom Vick, Freer and Sackler Galleries. Series introduction adapted from Mr. Vick’s introduction for Freer and Sackler.
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Tom Vick's Time and Place are Nonsense:
The Films of Seijun Suzuki (2015) available for
purchase at The Cinematheque during the retrospective!