Directed by Seijun Suzuki

Directed by Seijun Suzuki

11 Episodes

Born one hundred years ago this month, Japanese New Wave renegade Seijun Suzuki combined a deliriously inventive approach to filmmaking and a fast-and-loose attitude toward genre expectations to make some of the most thrillingly stylish movies of all time, frequently transcending narrative logic and skyrocketing clear into the realm of total pop-art abstraction. From the anything-goes yakuza thrillers TOKYO DRIFTER and BRANDED TO KILL (a masterpiece so narratively fractured it resulted in his unceremonious firing from his longtime home studio of Nikkatsu) to the daring postwar dramas of human frailty GATE OF FLESH and STORY OF A PROSTITUTE to his acclaimed late-career swerve toward surreal period drama in the Taisho Trilogy (ZIGEUNERWEISEN, KAGERO-ZA, YUMEJI), Suzuki played chaos like jazz, cramming boundless visual ideas into his beautifully composed frames.

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Directed by Seijun Suzuki
  • Directed by Seijun Suzuki Teaser

    Episode 1

  • Grady Hendrix on Seijun Suzuki

    Episode 2

    This interview with critic and author Grady Hendrix was recorded in 2023.

  • Suzuki on Suzuki

    Episode 3

  • Everything Goes Wrong

    Episode 4

    Directed by Seijun Suzuki • 1960 • Japan

    Everything goes wrong when Jiro tries to break up his mother's relationship with a business man.

  • Take Aim at the Police Van

    Episode 5

    Directed by Seijun Suzuki • 1960 • Japan

    At the beginning of Seijun Suzuki's taut and twisty whodunit, a prison truck is attacked and a convict inside murdered. The penitentiary guard on duty, Daijiro (Michitaro Mizushima), is accused of negligence and suspended, only to take it upon himself to ...

  • Youth of the Beast

    Episode 6

    Directed by Seijun Suzuki • 1963 • Japan
    Starring Joe Shishido, Misako Watanabe, Tamio Kawaji

    When a mysterious stranger muscles into two rival yakuza gangs, Tokyo’s underworld explodes with violence. YOUTH OF THE BEAST (YAJU NO SEISHUN) was a breakthrough for director Seijun Suzuki, introducing...

  • Gate of Flesh

    Episode 7

    Directed by Seijun Suzuki • 1964 • Japan
    Starring Joe Shishido, Yumiko Nogawa, Satoko Kasai

    In the shady black markets and bombed-out hovels of post-World War II Tokyo, a tough band of prostitutes eke out a dog-eat-dog existence, maintaining tenuous friendships and a semblance of order in a worl...

  • Story of a Prostitute

    Episode 8

    Directed by Seijun Suzuki • 1965 • Japan
    Starring Yumiko Nogawa, Isao Tamagawa, Tamio Kawachi

    Volunteering as a “comfort woman” on the Manchurian front, where she is expected to service hundreds of soldiers, Harumi is commandeered by the brutal Lieutenant Narita but falls for the sensitive Mikam...

  • Tokyo Drifter

    Episode 9

    Directed by Seijun Suzuki • 1966 • Japan
    Starring Tetsuya Watari, Chieko Matsubara, Tamio Kawaji

    In this jazzy gangster film, reformed killer Tetsu’s attempt to go straight is thwarted when his former cohorts call him back to Tokyo to help battle a rival gang. Director Seijun Suzuki’s onslaught ...

  • Fighting Elegy

    Episode 10

    Directed by Seijun Suzuki • 1966 • Japan
    Starring Hideki Takahashi, Junko Asano, Yusuke Kawazu

    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...

  • Branded to Kill

    Episode 11

    Directed by Seijun Suzuki • 1967 • Japan

    When Japanese New Wave bad boy Seijun Suzuki delivered this brutal, hilarious, and visually inspired masterpiece to the executives at his studio, he was promptly fired. Branded to Kill tells the ecstatically bent story of a yakuza assassin with a fetish f...