The complete programme for the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival 2017 has now been revealed and as reported, the festival will be paying homage to the late director Seijun Suzuki with a retrospective featuring ten of his best loved films.
Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards is everything its name suggests – crazy, cartoonish fun as a Joe Shishido goes undercover, hangs out in Christmas themed cabaret bars and sings a few songs all the name of justice (and a paycheck). Review.
Youth of the Beast proved a turning point in Suzuki’s career. No longer content to play along with restrictive studio codes, Suzuki embraces his talent for colourful absurdism as Shishido once again finds himself undercover in the yakuza underworld.
Tokyo Drifter found few fans among studio bosses, but takes Suzuki’s psychedelic use of colour to all new highs in the story of a gangster unable to escape from his violent past.
Making another foray into wartime desperation, Suzuki adapts Taijiro Tamura’s Gate of Flesh with Shishido as a washed-up former soldier driving a wedge between a group of fiercely loyal prostitutes. Review.
The one that got him fired from Nikkatsu, Branded to Kill is the absurd story of a steely hitman with an addiction to the smell of cooking rice who finds his life derailed by a beautiful woman and a butterfly. Review.
Zigeunerweisen marks Suzuki’s return to filmmaking after the long series of court battles following his dismissal from Nikkatsu. The first in the Taisho Trilogy, Zigeunerweisen stars Yoshio Harada as one third of an eerily surreal love triangle. Review.
The follow up to Zigeunerweisen, Kagero-za stars Yusaku Matsuda in a ghostly tale of love and writer’s block. Review.
Suzuki takes a wry look at the origins of fascism in Fighting Elegy as the young men of his age engage themselves in “manly” pursuits but are obliged to sublimate their other desires into a lust for violence. Review.
Joe Odagiri and Zhang Ziyi star in the bizarre yet infectious folktale inspired musical, Princess Raccoon.
For his final film, Pistol Opera, Suzuki revisits Branded to Kill but replaces Shishido with a female assassin longing to be number one.
The full programme for the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival which takes place between 30th June and 8th July, 2017 is now available on the official website. You can also keep up with all the latest news via the festival’s Facebook page, and Twitter account.