From Genre Flick to Art Film: Seijun Suzuki’s Branded to Kill and Pistol Opera

  • Temenuga Trifonova


Insofar as serialization is premised on the reproduction of a common diegetic world, it limits the potential for the remaking of genre conventions. On the other hand, lacking the open-ended, hypothetically infinite nature of the film series, the film sequel is likely to throw the remaking of genre conventions into greater relief. A sequel recreates the diegetic world established in the original film and simply generates a new series of events/adventures/obstacles for the original characters. Inasmuch as it is mostly genre films that lend themselves to sequelization, one would expect a great deal of consistency between an original and its sequel, both of which are circumscribed by the same generic rules and expectations, regardless of specific differences in terms of storyline. This is not the case, however, with Seijun Suzuki’s Pistol Opera/Pisutoru Opera (Japan, 2001), the long-awaited sequel to his incomprehensible yakuza film Branded to Kill/Koroshi no rakuin (Japan, 1967), for which he was fired by the Nikkatsu Corporation, the studio under which he made his first films.


Gang Member Original Film Modern Dance Japanese Militarism Boxing Ring 
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© Temenuga Trifonova 2011

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  • Temenuga Trifonova

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