An artist that could be described as a prankster and crazy, Seijun Suzuki was a bold filmmaker that changed the way in which Film was made (especially in Japan). A rebel in his own right, Suzuki put forth memorable films like “Branded to Kill" and “Tokyo Drifter” in which he used new and innovative storytelling techniques which set him apart from his peers. Often slammed by Japanese studios for his lack of restraint and disregard for the mundane format of storytelling, Suzuki forged his own path and understood the power of filmmaking in regards to human expression.

His films expressed multiple deeper meanings

One thing that both impressed and repulsed viewers of Suzuki movies was the outward expression of emotions invoked by the characters and dialogue. He did not care whether the studios felt uncomfortable because the world that he tried to create in his films was itself uncomfortable. Their subject matter often featured gangsters and prostitutes and pushed the boundaries of both sex and sexuality. Many of the scripts that Suzuki received when he finally had a chance to make films lacked concept and were alternative versions of films that were already successful in the past. At that time, Japanese studios were more concerned with making money than taking the audience on a journey and challenging them to think.

For Suzuki, film was first and foremost fun. He did not want to make films that had little character growth but instead used all aspects of film (including color) to enhance the viewer’s experience. His films at their core were a commentary on the world that he lived in and how everyone has the ability to become their own hero.

Discuss this news on Eunomia

His films also stressed the importance of having a sense of humor, no matter the situation.

His influence and techniques are still used today

One of Suzuki’s most important and memorable films was the 1966 gangster drama, “Tokyo Drifter.” Noted for its hyperbolized story ark and innovative film techniques, this film brought one of Suzuki's most important contributions to the forefront.

Suzuki was one of the first film directors to acknowledge the power and significance of color. Placing a scene in a yellow backdrop has a completely different connotation then placing it against a deep blue backdrop. The two stages could feature the same actors saying the exact same words but the mood and the effect that these words have on the plot could be taken completely differently. Even in an Oscar-nominated film like “Moonlight” Suzuki’s influence can be felt because the director, Barry Jenkins does much of the same. Even a director as distinguished as Steven Spielberg has taken inspiration from a plethora of Japanese directors. The color of the scene informs and influences an audience’s reaction to both the dialogue and the character who speaks those words. Though Suzuki has now passed away at the age of 93, his films have become cult classics and ones that every director should study.