Film

Youth of the Beast
FILM

Youth of the Beast

野獣の青春 (Yaju no seishun)
Sunday, March 13, 2011

Youth of the Beast © Nikkatsu Corporation.



1963. 92 min., 35 mm, color, in Japanese with live English subtitles. Directed by Seijun Suzuki. With Joe Shishido, Misako Watanabe, Tamio Kawaji, Ichiro Kijima, Mizuho Suzuki.

Seijun Suzuki's breakthrough film is faster, rougher and wilder than most of his other outings (except perhaps the outrageously off-the-wall Branded to Kill). Raw, rugged and tumbling out of nowhere, Jo (Joe Shishido, a frequent leading man in Suzuki's films) wants employment and wants it now. Closer in temperament to a human lava flow, he's not about to let little things like a bunch of big, bulky brawlers get in the way. He barges into the headquarters of a notorious yakuza organization and there he proceeds to beat the living daylights out of the goons, points a gun at the boss and politely asks for a job. The boss is impressed and puts him on the payroll. Jo then heads over to the rival faction's gang... Repeat. In other words, all-out gang war is around the corner. This early Seijun Suzuki masterpiece paved the way for the late 1990s visual extravaganza (Takashi Miike and others).

Part of the Globus Film Series:
Hardest Men in Town: Yakuza Chronicles of Sin, Sex & Violence


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