Thursday, May 07, 2020

Go to Hell, Bastards: Detective Bureau 2 3

The Last Standard

(All images are iPhone photos taken of frames of the film playing from the Arrow Blu-ray.)


Yes, it's the Suzuki film with that title, which is somewhere between a direct translation and a finessed translation from the Japanese: Kutabare akutō-domo: Tantei-jimusho 2 3 [Go to Hell, Bastards: Detective Bureau 2 3, 1963]. And yet, as Tony Rayns puts it in the video program produced by Arrow Films, "a very standard Nikkatsu film, of its day and of its type." Sell the picture with its title. Incidentally, the bastards who are to "go to hell" are the gangsters who keep trying to verify the true identity of Shishido the infiltrator.

The premise has something to do with arms being smuggled off a US base. The first shot: close up of a G.I. in olive green, and all the olive green surroundings... The color palette of the film takes the cast of these drab greens and muted greys in complement, suggestive of the collusion between the occupiers and the occupied. (Like a Melville resistance-film but without the steel glimmer.) The yakuza at the center of the plot, the Ōtsuki and the Sakura gangs — and the secret third gang who robs from both of the gangs — typify the playact, or pastiche, of bands of American gangsters...



More writing at Cinemasparagus on the films of Seijun Suzuki:

8-jikan no kyōfu [8 Hours' Terror, 1957]

Ankokugai no bijo [Underworld Beauty, 1958]

Fumi hazushita hara [Trampled Springtime, 1958]

Kage naki koe [Voice Without a Shadow, 1958]

"Jûsan-gô taihisen," yori: Sono gosôsha (w)o nerae ["Sidetrack No. Thirteen," or: Take Aim at That Police Van, 1960]

Kemono no nemuri [The Sleep of the Beast, 1960]

Mikkō 0 Line [0-Line Stowaway, 1960]

Subete ga kurutteru [Everything Goes Wrong, 1960]

Tōkyō knight [Tokyo Knights, 1961]

Shotgun no otoko [The Man with a Shotgun, 1961]

Tōge (w)o wataru wakai kaze [Youthful Wind Crossing the Mountain Pass, 1961]

High-teen yakuza [Late-Teen Yakuza, 1962]

Kutabare akutō-domo: Tantei-jimusho 2 3 [Go to Hell, Bastards: Detective Bureau 2 3, 1963]

Yajû no seishun [Youth of the Beast, 1963]

Akutarō [The Bastard / The Badboy, 1963]

Akutarō-den: Warui hoshi no shita demo [Stories of Bastards: Even Under a Bad Star / Stories of Badboys: Even Under a Bad Star, 1965]


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