Branded to Kill

Film

Gangster films

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Time Out says

The film that got Suzuki fired by Nikkatsu, and it's not hard to see why. It starts almost straightforwardly as a bluesy gangster thriller in pared-down Melville mould. But as 'number three killer' Shishido (a Suzuki regular) moves from some beautifully staged hits to perverse obsession with an ultra cool femme fatale and a set-to with 'number one killer', the weirder the film becomes. Just as Shishido cracks up and enters a surreal nightmare world, so Suzuki breaks the film down into a bizarre but beguiling chain of absurdist, OTT, barely related elements. It looks a little like golden-age Godard (but far more stylish). The climax, oddly reminiscent of Point Blank (made the same year), shows how much further Suzuki was prepared to push even than Boorman, let alone Hollywood. Occasionally mystifying, but always witty, inventive and dazzling to look at.

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Release details

UK release:

1966

Duration:

91 mins

Cast and crew

Cast:

Jo Shishido, Nanbara Koji, Ogawa Mariko, Annu Mari, Isao Tamagawa

Director:

Seijun Suzuki

Producer:

Kaneo Iwai

Screenwriter:

Hachiro Guryu

Cinematography:

Kazue Nagatsuka

Editor:

Mutsuo Tanji

Art Director:

Sukezo Kawahara

Music:

Naozumi Yamamoto

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