Smashing the O-Line

This crime thriller features one of the most nihilist characters in Suzuki’s early films: Katiri, a reporter so ambitiously amoral that he’ll sell out anyone—including his partner and the drug dealer he’s sleeping with—to get a scoop. But what happens when an even more ruthless female gang boss kidnaps his sister? With its jazzy musical score and sordid milieu of drug smuggling and human trafficking, Smashing the O-Line is one of Suzuki’s darkest urban tales. Print courtesy of the Japan Foundation. (Japanese with English Subtitles)

Read Cashiers De Cinema’s review of Smashing the O-Line (11/9/2015)

Genres: Crime, Thriller

Other Films by Seijun Suzuki

Tokyo Drifter

Tasked with making a vehicle for actor/singer Tetsuya Watari to croon the title song, Suzuki concocted this crazy yarn about a reformed yakuza on the run from his former comrades. The film is mainly an excuse to stage an escalating series of goofy musical numbers and over-the-top fight scenes. Popping with garish colors, self-parodic style,

Carmen from Kawachi

A 1960s riff on the opera Carmen (including a rock version of its famous aria “Habanero”), this picaresque tale sends its heroine from the countryside to Osaka and Tokyo in search of success as a singer. Her journey is fraught with exploitation and abuse at the hands of nefarious men—until Carmen seeks revenge. Mixing comedy,

Gate of Flesh

Part social realist drama, part sadomasochistic trash opera, Gate of Flesh paints a dog-eat-dog portrait of postwar Tokyo. The film takes the point of view of a gang of tough prostitutes working out of a bombed-out building. When a lusty ex-soldier lurches into their midst, the group’s most sensitive member is tempted to break one

The Call of Blood

Though Suzuki created it in the midst of his stylistic breakthrough, The Call of Blood has never received the same amount of attention as other films he made around the same time. Nikkatsu icons Hideki Takahashi and Akira Kobayashi star as brothers—one a gangster, the other an ad man—who unite to avenge their yakuza father’s

Tattooed Life

Set in the 1930s, Tattooed Life is the story of two brothers: Kenji, an art student, and Tetsu, who is working as a yakuza to help pay for Kenji’s tuition. When a hit job goes horribly wrong, the brothers flee. They end up finding work in a mine—and falling in love with the owner’s wife