Seijun Suzuki: The Chaos of Cool

Through an alchemy of stylistic flair and creative restlessness, Seijun Suzuki was able to transcend the by-the-numbers material he was assigned as a director at Japan’s oldest film studio, Nikkatsu, to become one of the most electrifying genre auteurs of the 1960s. In irreverent, visually inventive movies like Tokyo Drifter, Gate of Flesh, and Branded to Kill, the sets are meticulously designed, the plots follow their own dream logic, and the actors move through each frame with devil-may-care swagger. In celebration of this great B-movie maximalist, who passed away in February at the age of ninety-three, we’re showcasing seven of his most beloved Nikkatsu films over at the Criterion Channel. For a preview of all the head-spinning delirium in store, check out the series introduction, in which Suzuki discusses the origins of his aesthetic and the unexpected acclaim his work has received abroad:

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