Thursday, August 23, 2012

Odd Obsession

Branded to Kill (1967) / Seijun Suzuki
Everything in Branded to Kill is fetishised to the point of odd whimsicality – characters obsess over the smell of boiled rice, assassin-ranking systems, butterflies, dead birds, sniper-scopes, gun-barrels, naked female bodies and the director himself creates one super-collage of dedicated fetish-imagery by shooting everything either in long telephoto lenses or front-on – thereby either creating ‘pretty pictures’ out of every goddamn object or reducing it to its most fundamental, as-it-is form. There is nothing that exists if not to serve purely surface-level pleasure; there are no great ideas about imperialism as in Gate of Flesh or genre-reflection like Tokyo Drifter, but as pop-objects go, it is one helluva film.

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