Fighting Elegy

1966 [JAPANESE]

Action / Comedy / Drama

0
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 74%
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 1471

japanese new wave

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Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
September 16, 2022 at 12:32 AM

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720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
788.96 MB
1280*530
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 25 min
P/S ...
1.43 GB
1920*796
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 25 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by zetes 10 / 10

After a second viewing...

The first time around, I was a little lost on this one. I didn't have the proper knowledge of its historical context. The Criterion liner notes are a big help. I just wish I had read them more recently. This is a satire of the militaristic attitude that eventually lead Japan into WWII. I remembered it being a comedy. It does have its comic moments, mostly involving Kiroku's uncontrollable erections, but it is rather serious in tone. Well, that's even a little weird. Suzuki is able to create a remarkable balance between the film's serious themes, its action sequences, as well as its comic touches. All the while, he creates a film of outstanding imagery, gorgeous cinematography, and artful editing. To think, Suzuki Seijun had probably no ability to choose which films he made. He was a bit lucky to land this one, though, as it was written by Kaneto Shindo, who had to be hot stuff after having already directed both The Island and Onibaba (though I wouldn't know how those films were received in Japan). This is one of only two Suzuki films that stand outside of the yakuza genre, so here (and in Story of a Prostitute) he was able to deal with deeper themes than normal. But anyway, Suzuki had little control over what material he was to direct, one way or another. I find his ability to create great art infinitely more impressive than any number of cinematic artists who had more or less complete control over their own work. It would be utterly wrong not to include Suzuki in the pantheon of the world's greatest film artists.

Reviewed by Bunuel1976 6 / 10

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 [1960] and ONIBABA [1964]!). 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!

Reviewed by frankgaipa 9 / 10

Black and White

In the little Suzuki festival I made myself of four recent DVD releases, this stood out. The up-front, if onanistic, humor linked to the political and military era, the Christian religious aspect, the protagonist's inane yet never-ending need to hit people, the huge, huge gang fight, and the relative absence of organized crime, the brazen aping of things military all struck me. But what really stays is the shimmering 2.35:1 black and white imagery. Somehow it differs from the 2.35 b/w of a crime flick like Underworld Beauty or the urban desert of Branded to Kill. There's a deliberative fuzziness, a quavery living light about most scenes that has to have been an artistic choice. It evokes the period in a way that today's filmmakers might try and fail with sepia. Imagine Mizoguchi with a super wide canvas.

Can't find it in my shelves today, but my favorite account of black and white film-making is Cocteau's diary of the making of Beauty and the Beast. Weeks and months would slip by while Cocteau waited to bounce just the right sunlight off some sheets hung to dry or Beauty's cheek or hair. Certainly not the case here: Suzuki wanted to shoot in color. The miracle that's Fighting Elegy was actually bum luck, his second choice. He was making film after film within studio schedules and guidelines. Even so, this film's black and white shines.

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