Quick-Thoughts: Seijun Suzuki’s Story of a Prostitute (1965)

Seijun Suzuki Marathon Part III of V

“He’s a high-ranking officer. Whatever he does, I don’t feel anything.” 

Paths of Glory (1957) meets Romeo and Juliet (1597). “Never let wine or women distract your mind”, says the sergeant, and yet, that’s exactly the kind of temptations that the army is willing to directly provide for their soldiers. As this recital continues we hear the thoughts of its reciters, with minds clearly as “lost” in other affairs as the chant tells them not to be, a sign of the extreme idealism in the army’s demand of what their soldiers should be. Just keep projecting a facade of honor at all costs.

Has some potent mixes of slow-mo and real-time audio, imposing and exaggerated monochrome lighting, and the freeze-framing: yes! As to be expected the blocking is also phenomenal and the camera movement is full of diction. Overall though, not on par with the previous two of Suzuki’s I saw but still, I like how I happened to follow up his post-war Gate of Flesh with his depiction of the war itself.  

Verdict: B-

Seijun Suzuki Ranked

“Story of a Prostitute” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel.

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