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Sunday, June 13, 2010


This middling noir from Seijun Suzuki (about a prison cop who tries to find out who attacked him & his busload of prisoners) was made shortly before he broke thru the strictures of Nikkatsu Studio with a more personal voice. Typically, a good set-up forgoes the demands of logical development for a non-forensic grab-bag of intuition, luck & unlikely coincidence. But, that was the house style for these quickly made films, and Suzuki counters with such an abundant display of technical chops and visual pizzazz that you don’t mind the narrative ellipses & manipulation. Sometimes, just watching a screen pulse with slick compositions, razor-sharp editing & an array of witty framing devises carries the day. The opening jangles the nerves with a beautifully realized assault on a police van & there’s mayhem aplenty along the way. Death, destruction, speed, high contrast b&w in WideScreen . . . catnip for noir fans.

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