When a mysterious stranger muscles into two rival yakuza gangs, Tokyo's underworld explodes with violence.
When a mysterious stranger muscles into two rival yakuza gangs, Tokyo's underworld explodes with violence.
Jō Shishido Misako Watanabe Tamio Kawachi Minako Katsuki Daizaburo Hirata Eimei Esumi Eiji Gō Akiji Kobayashi Masao Shimizu Nobuo Kaneko Koichi Uenoyama Yuzo Kiura Naomi Hoshi Hiroshi Kôno Shuntaro Tamamura Mizuho Suzuki Zenji Yamada Yuriko Abe Ikuko Kimuro Shirô Yanase Tomio Aoki Ichiro Kijima Shozo Miki Akinori Hanamura Kosuke Hisamatsu Takashi Nomura Gen Mihama Gô Kuroda Densuke Mitsuzawa Show All…
Jagt auf die Bestie, Yajû no seishun, Wild Youth
"killing the killers." simultaneously playful and gruesome yakuza update on Yojimbo with a very stylish focus on the con; the intense theatrics (expressed here by suzuki in wild camera moves and striking compositions layered with colors and depth) of playing both sides until you don't know which way is up and now there are a bunch of bodies on the ground.
“A promise to you is nothing”. Yojimbo in a world where there’s no trace of honor left, even our ronin instigator is nothing but another thug. Suzuki at his most blunt and angry. There’s no victims here, just more and more violence.
Suzuki's first prank? my favorite shot is a woman being whipped, the wounds on her back the same deep red as the lush carpet she's prostrate on, as if the color was bleeding right through her.
Suzuki's constant technical progress and controlled cinematic techniques along with Jô Shishido's imposing, self-controlled and yet undeniably badass machismo attitude constitute one of the most aggressive, entertaining and relentlessly violent crime films of the 1960s in the middle of both the Japanese New Wave and the director's improving career. With amazing action sequences, longer-lasting camera shots, Wes Anderson-like camera movements (even if I dislike the director), and effectively complimentary dramatic subplots and a morally empathizing story, the film successfully plays the Yojimbo card and takes all events and revelations to the mandatory identification card of the director: a culminating climax which explosiveness and aftermath could be even considered a worthy predecessor of John Woo's Cantonese gunmageddons (particularly, A Better Tomorrow II  came to mind).
Obviously a lot of directors have taken after Suzuki’s maximalism (Sono, Woo, Tarantino, my main man Kaizô Hayashi), but few of them feel touched with the same arch sense of playfulness (at least, not to quite the same degree). Here it feels like he’s picking up where Nick Ray’s 50’s works left off and not only amplifying everything to fever pitch but also applying the avant-melodrama form to an action film (I mean, the man named a movie “Pistol Opera” for god’s sake). The opening 20 minutes feel like flexing even by Suzukian standards. I miss Jo Shishido like you wouldn’t believe!
There's a bit in Youth Of The Beast where Joe Shishido uses a spray can to almost set fire to someone's head.
He gets so close with that thing that I can't be sure that his victim wasn't left with an at least slightly singed scalp. It's the type of reckless abandon that I like in a film and there is plenty of it in Youth Of The Beast, due mostly to Shishido.
I've never happened across him before (and this is indeed my first Seijun Suzuki film although I have a load of his bookmarked) but I'm looking forward to seeing if he's like this a lot. Dragging himself about the place slightly…
"All I care about is guns." A deconstruction of the yakuza genre avant la lettre, tossing arbitrary and self-flattering codes of honor out the window and replaces them with complete brutality. The only operating procedure here is that the highest bidder wins, at least until you tear through him for an extra buck as well. Radiant colors and precise framing make spellbinding images in every shot (I was especially taken with one of two men standing water's edge in a heavy rainstorm, small flashes of yellow on barbed wire fence poles marking the only real color save for the blaze of lighting that gives the otherwise inky shot a hazy, radioactive glow). Suzuki is already making plot scattered and hard to follow, but in this case it's all to keep focus on the unpredictable, capricious violence erupting at all times between thugs. The seed for all of Takashi Miike's yakuza movies, a brutal grotesque.
Triple-crosses, soundproof rooms, screeching junkies, ill-fitting hats, venetian razors, psychedelic interludes, kittycat make-outs, mobsters in pantyhose, insecure yakuza, and many, many cigarettes. This is action-stuffed, bizarrely funny and as slick as 1963 crime flicks come. In a better world, Joe Shishido would be up on collegiate assholes' dorm room walls right alongside Scarface.
Criterion Collection - #268
A filmmaker would perceive upon their work the superficiality that its content offers, films with a lack of resonating subtext often undergo a stylistic process that allows audiences to sink into its narrative, to instil personality where its text would provide little of; this certainly felt like the case for Seijun Suzuki’s Youth of the Beast, driven by a story that appears to be inspired heavily by the clear mappings of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo, as it treads on the film’s protagonist’s aim to shake up the rivalry between two Japanese gangs, placing himself in the middle in the hopes of earning a profit.
Simple undoubtedly the film is in its narrative construction and its world lingering…
Suzuki is just effortlessly cool. Nobody will ever make movies as cool as his.
Task: try to talk about this and Seijun Suzuki on this week's episode of The Frances Farmer Show without using the words "theatrical", "artificial" or "absurd".
Youth of the Beast is Suzuki as reserved as I've seen him, but still offering up a very jazzy noir that nods it's head to Kurosawa while at the same time letting a furious Jo Shishido run loose in front of the camera. The story is sort of straight forward, with the odd twist, but the proceedings get a "Suzuki" treatment via jump cuts, wild use of camera, score, a wonderful mise en scene and special mention to the use of colours.
Pitting two yakuza outfits against each other, while at the same time kicking as much ass as he can on both sides, Shishido is a joy to behold, and thankfully so, because much of the cast are best left as shadows for him to kick out at.
Seijun Suzuki es mi Godard.
Suzuki's eclectic style and inspired visuals really make up for the loose and sometimes slow narrative.
But I gotta say, the opening sequence is just amazing. The moment it transitions from b&w to color felt like a slap in the face.
I went in knowing next to nothing, so I’ll inform you of as little as possible about it. “Japanese noir” is an easy way of putting it. $200 says Tarantino watches this multiple times before writing a screenplay. 1963 Hollywood has nothing on this bad boy.
A classic Yakuza film that’s stylized violence echoes through to today’s works.
This film has some pretty technical actions sequences with protagonists swinging upside down etc. Sejun’s use of colors is among my favorite in film.
My only complaint would probably stem from my ineptitude, I kept having to pause and rewind to figure out who exactly was betraying who at what moments
“She had a face like a Venetian blind.”
Probably my second favourite Suzuki film so far after Story of a Prostitute. It’s colourful, has some nice action sequences and is actually vaguely followable for once.
A decent, campy action movie with nice, stylish visuals and passionate acting. Particularly liked the mob boss who was almost never seen without his cat, and on occasion would kiss his long haired cat on the mouth. Does anyone else notice how the majority of reviewers for this movie are men, and how one of the reviews is by some film bro hailing the most graphic scene which depicts a (very stylishly filmed - gag - ) violent misogynistic act as the best part in the entire movie?
this has me very excited to watch the two bigger suzuki films, because this ruled. the editing is insane and the direction in general is so stylish and wonderful and creative. i could go on and on about how pristine the lighting is and how amazing the interiors look and all the long takes shot from behind walls or whatever but suffice it to say that "it rules." the story isn't exactly amazing or the most compelling thing ever imo but it does more than enough to keep attention through the whole thing. it's a compelling tale of betrayal and conflicting allegiances and attempts to achieve the right outcome through violence and "breakneck tactics." i wish i had more to say about this but at the moment i don't really. Ooppp. great film, worth everyone's time.
Rather frustratingly I checked my phone about half way at through, and when I came back to it I found nothing made sense. Thankfully I was able to piece it all together in the end but there were a. Good few scenes where I had to work really hard to follow it.
I feel like an a different time and place this is a film noir. I guess it's a bit like A Fistful Dollars which I believe is a reimagining of Yojimbo (Kurasowa is a bit of a cinema blind spot for me).
My only other Senijun Suzuki experience was Detective Bureau 2-3. I liked that this was a lot more serious in tone than DB2-3, however I didn't…
Seijun Suzuki is one hell of a man just in style alone. More or less a noir mob story, Youth of the Beast is like Yojimbo with no space for honor or integrity. The triple-crossing is intelligent and if you blink, you'll definitely miss something. The theatrics are enough to warrant a watch for anybody.
Que lindo y que bien que filma Suzuki, y que entretenidas que son sus películas, se te pasan volando y encima son buenísimas. Y que bien que le robó Tarantino, es para aplaudir.
Playing all sides on some suicide vengeance shit. Just as much has the feel of a espionage film as a gangster film. Quite like everything that’s filmed in the daytime. Also seems like in a Suzuki film having a gun means little to nothing, you probably gonna lose that fight either way, his protagonists are supermen.
Suzuki is just so effortless and playful and Shishido is so cool and charismatic, what a team
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