22 March 2006 | Bunuel1976
FIGHTING ELEGY (Seijun Suzuki, 1966) ***
This was only my fourth Seijun Suzuki film - after TOKYO DRIFTER (1966), BRANDED TO KILL (1967) and PISTOL OPERA (2001) - and it's a typically energetic outing, with strong doses of comedy augmenting the character study of a young man who can only express himself adequately through violence and how he is forced to take stock of his life after falling in love with a cultured young girl. Drawing obvious parallels to FIGHT CLUB (1999), the film's fight scenes are quite well done but, even more interestingly, it looks forward to the struggle between religious faith and a violent environment that would surface in later films, primarily the work of Martin Scorsese (the script of FIGHTING ELEGY was penned by Kaneto Shindo, director of THE NAKED ISLAND  and ONIBABA !). However, the film runs out of steam towards the end by taking an unexpectedly serious (and propagandist) turn which doesn't sit comfortably with the anarchy that had gone on before!