Monday, January 31, 2011
Hello Japan! - January Challenge
Another challenge from In Spring It is the Dawn an entertaining and informative blog about Japanese culture. This month's challenge is to "try something Japanese that you haven't before". I've been thinking about the challenge off an on all month and kept coming back to a director whose early movies I've wanted to watch.
I'm a fan of Seijun Suzuki's later visually adventurous films like Pistol Opera and Princess Raccoon. I was curious to watch one of the B-movies he made while working as a director at Nikkatsu Company in the 1950's and 1960's.
TAKE AIM AT THE POLICE VAN, made in 1960, is in Criterion Collection's Nikkatsu Noir series. Two prisoners are killed in a police bus one night. The guard who was on the bus is suspended from his job for six months and decides to investigate the killings on his own. As he looks for friends, associates and families of the victims other people die. A enigmatic woman whose gang leader father is in jail keeps turning up. And who is the mysterious person he keeps hearing is supposed to be behind the murders. The movie is well written and directed with good actors. I thought it was very entertaining. However it's very much a studio movie and I didn't see any of the more imaginative direction Seijun Suzuki does in his movies after he worked for Nikkatsu. Still worth watching though.