22 July 2020 | morrison-dylan-fan
"On the wind-blown bushes is a pretty flower."
When preparing for a Seijun Suzuki, I originally planned to start with volume one of Arrow's two box sets. Checking the listings,I was surprised to find that with the exception of one (The Boy Who Came Back (1958-also reviewed) all of the other early works,were in the second collection! Having finished the second set,I got swept back to the wind of youth of volume one.
Note:Some spoilers in review.
View on the film:
For the first colour title in the first box set, Arrow present a terrific transfer, with the print and the colours remaining sharp,along with a clean soundtrack.
Returning to the roaming road movie he had touched on with Eight Hours of Terror (1957-also reviewed), directing auteur Seijun Suzuki continues to display a keen interest in his early colour era of breaking away from his gritty black and white Film Noir era, with a surprisingly jaunty atmosphere.
Reuniting with cinematographer Saburo Isayama, Suzuki continues to expand in his interest in filming on real locations, with glorious wide-shots scanning the skyline as wandering student Shintaro (played with a sweet warmth by Koji Wada,who made 7 films with Suzuki) runs into a travelling magic troupe.
Taking full advantage of the troupes job, Suzuki continues to paint his distinctive colourful surrealist styling,with an outstanding set-piece throwing colour tinted lighting into the middle of a punch-up, and the magic troupe catching the eyes of all costumers, with their shimmering bright outfits against lively festive locations.
Pushing miss-dealings with a gangster right to the sidelines, the screenplay by GAMERA franchise writer Niisan Takahashi, Yoshihiko Morimoto & Ichiro Ikeda instead go for a Road Movie with a adorable zest, as the writers follow the troupe from town to town struggling to turn their act into a success, as Shintaro succeeds in building a bond with them across the wind of youth.