Friday, July 03, 2020

Gate of Flesh

Yellow Purple Red and Green

I hate being academic, but... from the outset "Suzuki's film" forces us to confront it as a plastic object: what with the savagery of the Tōkyō city placed in the context of an art world or a sordid musical, 2.35:1 Tokyoscope. Why do I double-quote flank "Suzuki's film" (Nikutai no mon, 1964 — and for once the Japanese title means the same as the English) when it is most assuredly his by any six-second glance alone and thus when no authorship can be reasonably denied? Because past colors, angles, and most radically 50%-opacity juxtapositions between either two facing creatures, or by one, or two, whoever has the other in their thoughts the picture is the work of Suzuki's collaboration with Takeo Kimura. Isn't using the most brilliant art directors in the world an irresistible prospect? Think of how much Suzuki had to work with, even under Nikkatsu Studio budgets, compared to Jon Stewart, then weep.

Imagine why this might be: the denial or obfuscation of a Japanese loss in the era of the Pacific War, the immediate aftermath of which sets the time for the movie to take place. There are too many willing to accommodate the American G.I.s in their 'reconstruction efforts' (in all senses) such that the right-wing, reaping no immediate awards, have broken into what is, for all intents and purposes, the bipartisan program of prostitution, with the caveat that this right-wing — that cell of girls focussed upon in the course of Gate of Flesh — makes no recourse beyond torquing toward the physically strong-set with all their fascist sympathies, a knife-wound alone on a man being enough to make them scrape together their thighs.

Turn the hose inside out, and: What of Ghislaine?



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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