"Seijun Suzuki: The Taisho Trilogy"
Directed by Seijun Suzuki
While foreign audiences have been quick to embrace
Seijun Suzuki's manic, 60s-era yakuza thrillers, Japanese critics often
favor this trilogy of films from the early 1980s and 90s--cerebral,
supernatural tales that maintain the unique stylistic palette of works like
Tokyo Drifter and Branded to Kill. Zigeunerweisen
(1981, 148 mins.) inaugurated the trilogy in playful fashion. The film tells
of a Japanese professor whose encounter with a serial killer leads him into
the arms of beautiful ghost. Kagero-Za (1981, 139 mins.) is a wildly
inventive love story, based on a tale by Kyoka Izumi. The film tells of a
playwright in 1926 Tokyo who crosses paths with a luminous apparition.
Finally, Yumeji (1991, 128 mins.) reimagines the life of painter-poet
Yumeji Takehisa. Kenji Sawada plays the artist as a philandering adventurer
trying to escape his demons. In Japanese with English subtitles.