Ikki Katashima

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Pistol Opera Review


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A recent article in Entertainment Weekly explains why Hollywood heavyweights from Tom Cruise to Brad Pitt are casting their creative nets across the Far East for new ideas. Who can blame them? In terms of succulent storylines, Asian cinema often appears light years ahead of an American film community knee-deep in sequels or remakes of cookie-cutter television fare.

A perfect example of the no-holds-barred well of creativity bubbling overseas is Seijun Suzuki's Pistol Opera. A sequel to the Japanese director's 1967 cult piece Branded to Kill, the film sets the stage for a wondrous tale of violence, betrayal, vengeance, and death. But while the film is gorgeous to behold, it winds up being strange without being interesting.

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