Youth of the Beast

In February 2017, iconoclast filmmaker Seijun Suzuki died at the age of 93. His career lasted fifty years, the most famous period of which was his time working within the studio system at Nikkatsu where he became something of a rebel craftsman. After a handful of years churning out B-pictures for the studio, three to sometimes five films a year, he began to seek ways to make these films more interesting both aesthetically and structurally. In 1963’s Youth of the Beast, Jo Shishido (what Mifune was to Kurosawa, Shishido was to Suzuki) plays an ex-cop who seeks revenge against the yakuza organization who killed one of his colleagues. With this standard genre fare as a starting point, Suzuki strips away all exposition and loads the film with surreal decors and popping colors. The film peaks when notions of time and place are destabilized. Join us in honoring the late master whose influence can be seen in the works of Shunya Ito (Female Prisoner Scorpion series), Quentin Tarantino, and Jim Jarmusch with a free screening of the first film that can truly be called “Suzukian.”


Director Seijun Suzuki
Country Japan
Year 1963
Runtime 91min
Starring Jo Shishido

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