Seijun Suzuki

Fighting Elegy

Fighting Elegy

High schooler Kiroku Nanbu yearns for the prim, Catholic Michiko, but her only desire is to reform Kiroku's sinful tendencies. Hormones raging, Kiroku channels his unsatisfied lust into the only outlet available: savage, crazed violence. Fighting Elegy (Kenka Erejii) is a unique masterpiece in the diverse career of Seijun Suzuki, combining the director’s signature bravura visual style with a brilliantly focused satire of machismo and fascism.

Film Info

  • Seijun Suzuki
  • Japan
  • 1966
  • 86 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 2.35:1
  • Japanese
  • Spine #269

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A new essay by renowned critic and historian Tony Rayns

New cover by Lucien S. Y. Yang

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A new essay by renowned critic and historian Tony Rayns

New cover by Lucien S. Y. Yang

Fighting Elegy
Cast
Hideki Takahashi
Kiroku Nanbu
Junko Asano
Michiko
Yusuke Kawazu
Turtle
Mitsuo Kataoka
Takuan
Isao Tamagawa
Principal of Kitakata J.H.S.
Keisuke Noro
Kaneda
Hiroshi Midorigawa
Ikki Kita
Seijiro Onda
Kiroku’s father
Chikako Miyagi
Yoshino Nanbu
Credits
Director
Seijun Suzuki
Art direction
Takeo Kimura
Cinematography
Kenji Hagiwara
Screenplay
Kaneto Shindo
Based on a novel by
Takashi Suzuki
Editing
Mutsuo Tanji
Music
Naozumi Yamamoto
Producer
Kazu Otsuka

From The Current

A Salute to Seijun Suzuki
A Salute to Seijun Suzuki

Cinema lost one of its most venerated maestros of excess last week with the passing of director Seijun Suzuki, whose signature films from the 1960s exploded the conventions of the Japanese studio system. While honing his craft in dozens of films cran…

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Fighting Elegy

In an essay published in 1981 in the Japanese film magazine Art Theater, Suzuki Seijun’s kid brother Kenji offered what still stands as one of the most illuminating comments on his brother’s cinema: “Seijun and I are completely different charac…

By Tony Rayns


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Seijun Suzuki

Director

According to critic Manohla Dargis, “To experience a film by Japanese B-movie visionary Seijun Suzuki is to experience Japanese cinema in all its frenzied, voluptuous excess.” Suzuki played chaos like jazz in his movies, from the anything-goes yakuza thrillers Tokyo Drifter and Branded to Kill to the daring postwar dramas of human frailty Gate of Flesh and Story of a Prostitute to the twisted coming-of-age story Fighting Elegy; he never concerned himself with moderation, cramming boundless invention into his beautifully composed frames, both color and black-and-white. Suzuki first pursued film after returning home to Tokyo from service in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II and failing university entrance exams. Following an unsatisfying stint as an assistant director at Shochiku, Suzuki was lured in 1954 to the recently reopened Nikkatsu studio, which was hiring fresh talent to appeal to a new kind of youth audience. He flourished there for years, with such films as Take Aim at the Police Van and especially Youth of the Beast, a commercial breakthrough for him. Yet his bosses became more and more opposed to his increasingly surreal visual stylings and lack of attention to narrative coherence, and after he made Branded to Kill, which a superior deemed “incomprehensible,” they unceremoniously (and illegally) revoked his contract. Of course, as any true Suzuki fan (and they are legion) knows, the incomprehensibility is part of the fun, and today his sixties works are considered some of the most essential of the Japanese New Wave.