The Call of Blood
A yakuza tries to keep his brother from becoming involved in the family business in Seijun Suzuki’s rarely screened The Call of Blood. The film’s use of iconography from both the popular Sun-Tribe Youth films of the 1950s and 1960s and the yakuza film genre demonstrates Suzuki’s genre-blending tendencies, and the jarring juxtapositions created by his use of staging, editing, and color that would come to define Suzuki’s style are also in strong evidence. Tom Vick discusses the film in the context of Suzuki’s long career, highlighting how reception by Japanese cinephiles affected the director’s reception globally.
(Seijun Suzuki, Japan, 1964, 97 min., 35mm)
Tom Vick is the curator of film at the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer and Sackler Galleries and is a consultant for the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Formerly Vick was the coordinator of film programs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and has served on the juries of the Korean Film Festival in Los Angeles, the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal, and Filmfest DC. He has contributed essays to World Cinema Directory: Japan, Film Festival Yearbook, Asian Geographic, and other publications, and is the author of Asian Cinema: A Field Guide (2008) and Time and Place Are Nonsense: The Films of Seijun Suzuki (2015).
Curated by William Carroll (CMS) as part of the Film Studies Center’s Graduate Student Curatorial Program.
Co-presented by the Japan Foundation and the University of Chicago Center for East Asian Studies with support from a Title VI National Resource Center Grant from the United States Department of Education.