Seijun Suzuki Centennial
February 3—11, 2023
Celebrating 100 years of iconoclast director Seijun Suzuki (1923-2017), a singular force in Japanese cinema whose radical stylistic vision and unpredictable narratives shaped the B-movie genre, Japanese cinephilia and the political New Left, Japan Society and The Japan Foundation present a selection of six films from across the filmmaker’s nearly 60-film body of work, all on imported 35mm prints straight from Japan. Covering ground from his earliest yakuza feature (Satan’s Town) to his unbridled return to studio filmmaking after being blacklisted for 10 years (A Tale of Sorrow and Sadness) and his subsequent independent success (Kagero-za), this special series offers a rare glimpse into the core of Suzuki's creative genius.
Series guest programmed by William Carroll, Assistant Professor of Modern Japanese Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta. Co-presented by The Japan Foundation.
1981. 117 min. Directed by Seijun Suzuki.
Friday, February 3 at 7 PM
Imported 35mm Print! The second of Suzuki’s taisho period trilogy, Kagero-za adapts Kyoka Izumi‘s ghost story into a surreal “heat haze” fever dream.
Satan’s Town / Love Letter
1956 & 1958. 119 min total. Directed by Seijun Suzuki.
Saturday, February 4 at 5 PM
Imported 35mm Print! A double-feature of Suzuki’s first yakuza feature for Nikkatsu paired with a rarely-screened 40-minute kayo short featuring doubles and stunning scope cinematography.
1966. 82 min. Directed by Seijun Suzuki.
Saturday, February 4 at 8 PM
Imported 35mm Print! This quintessential Suzuki film spotlights a drifting gunman who is called back to Tokyo to help fight a rival yakuza faction.
Carmen from Kawachi
1966. 89 min. Directed by Seijun Suzuki.
Friday, February 10 at 7 PM
Imported 35mm Print! In Suzuki’s final film with actress Yumiko Nogawa, a young woman from rural Kansai tries to make it in Osaka by taking on a series of increasingly exploitative jobs.
A Tale of Sorrow and Sadness
1977. 93 min. Directed by Seijun Suzuki.
Saturday, February 11 at 7 PM
Imported 35mm Print! A sports magazine decides to turn an amateur golfer into a star in Suzuki’s audacious comeback after being blacklisted for 10 years.
Co-presented by the Japan Foundation.
Special Thanks to William Carroll; Shun Inoue and Maya Sato (Japan Foundation).
Japan Society programs are made possible by leadership support from Booth Ferris Foundation and Shiseido Americas. Film programs are generously supported by ORIX Corporation USA, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and endowment support from the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund. Additional season support is provided by The Globus Family, David Toberisky, Akiko Koide and Shohei Koide, Geoff and Fumi Matters, Laurel Gonsalves, and David S. Howe. Transportation assistance is provided by Japan Airlines, the exclusive Japanese airline sponsor of Japan Society Film.