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Directed by Seijun Suzuki

Japan 1963 91 mins.

Suzuki himself claims that 1963 was the year when he truly came into his own, and Youth of the Beast is one of his breakthroughs. In his second collaboration with the director, Jo Shishido rampages through the movie, playing a disgraced ex-cop pitting two yakuza gangs against each other to avenge the death of a fellow officer. As the double and triple crosses mount, Suzuki fills the frame with lurid colors, striking compositions, and boldly theatrical effects that signal a director breaking away from genre material to forge a pulp art form all his own. Print courtesy of the Japan Foundation. (Japanese with English subtitles)

Read Scott Nye’s review of Youth of the Beast for CriterionCast (11/26/2014)