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The Sleeping Beast Within  /  Smashing the O-Line

Smashing the O-Line
February 27, 2016 - 7:30 pm

Print provided by Japan Foundation

The Sleeping Beast Within  (Japan, 1960)

A businessman vanishes upon his return from an overseas trip, and his daughter hires a reporter to help find him.  When the father reappears, the reporter becomes suspicious and starts digging deeper, uncovering a secret world of heroin smuggling and murder—all tied up with a mysterious Sun God cult.  This proto-Breaking Bad moves to an energetic pulp fiction beat all the way to its spectacular conflagration of an ending.

35mm, b/w, in Japanese with English subtitles, 86 min.  Production: Nikkatsu.  Producer: Takiko Kaburagi.  Director: Seijun Suzuki.  Screenwriter: Ichiro Ikeda.  Cinematographer: Shigeyoshi Mine.  Production Design: Kimihiko Nakamura.  Editor: Akira Suzuki.  Music: Hajime Kaburagi.  With: Hiroyuki Nagato, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Shoichi Ozawa, Shinsuke Ashida, Hisano Yamaoka.

Print provided by Japan Foundation

Smashing the O-Line  (Japan, 1960)

This crime thriller features one of the most nihilistic characters in director Seijun Suzuki’s early films: Katiri, a reporter so ambitiously amoral that he’ll sell out anyone—including his partner and the drug dealer he’s sleeping with— to get a scoop.  But what happens when an even more ruthless female gang boss kidnaps his sister?  With its jazzy musical score and sordid milieu of drug smuggling and human trafficking, Smashing the O-Line (1960) is one of Suzuki’s darkest urban tales.

35mm, b/w, in Japanese with English subtitles, 83 min.  Production: Nikkatsu.  Producer: Shozo Ashida.  Director: Seijun Suzuki.  Screenwriter: Yasuro Yokoyoma.  Cinematographer: Shigeyoshi Mine, Toshitaro Nakao.  Production Design: Kazuhiko Chiba.  Editor: Akira Suzuki. Music: Taichiro Kosugi.  With: Hiroyuki Nagato, Mayumi Shimizu, Yuji Odaka, Sanae Nakahara, Tomo’o Nagai.