Seijun Suzuki was born Seitaro Suzuki on May 24, 1923, and died on February 13, 2017.
He was a Japanese filmmaker, actor, and screenwriter.
Suzuki’s films are known for their jarring visual style, irreverent humour, nihilistic cool and entertainment-over-logic sensibility.
Suzuki made 40 predominately B-movies for the Nikkatsu Company between 1956 and 1967, working most prolifically in the yakuza genre.
Suzuki’s increasingly surreal style began to draw the ire of the studio in 1963 and culminated in his ultimate dismissal for what is now regarded as his magnum opus, Branded to Kill (1967), starring notable collaborator Joe Shishido.
He had successfully sued the studio for wrongful dismissal, but he was blacklisted for 10 years after that. As an independent filmmaker, he won critical acclaim and a Japanese Academy Award for his Taishō Trilogy, Zigeunerweisen (1980), Kagero-za (1981) and Yumeji (1991).
Suzuki’s films remained widely unknown outside Japan until a series of theatrical retrospectives beginning in the mid-1980s, home video releases of key films such as Branded to Kill and Tokyo Drifter in the late 1990s and tributes by such acclaimed filmmakers as Jim Jarmusch, Takeshi Kitano, Wong Kar-wai and Quentin Tarantino signaled his international discovery.
Seijun Suzuki passed away at 93 years old.