30 years after Suzuki's masterpiece Branded to Kill, the 78yearold director has now made a sequel/remake Pistol Opera.Minazuki Miyuki, nicknamed the stray cat, is number three on the list of top hired killers. On one of her missions, she is shot by No 4, a man in a wheelchair and she then shoots him dead. She finds out that all hired killers are fighting each other for the fiercely contested number one spot. Miyuki isn't safe anywhere anymore and has to take on experienced killers with exotic names like `The painless surgeon' and 'The dark horse'. Hanada, the former champion, has meanwhile been put out of action, but he uses his expertise to help his younger colleague the stray cat.As so often in the work of Suzuki, the film is sustained more by the style than by a clear plot. Suzuki does not use film to tell a story, but to investigate the boundaries of a medium. The attractive use of colour and the formal framing augment the artificial effect.The most important reference to Branded to Kill is the return of the character Goro Hanada, the former number three on the hitmen's hit list, now played by Hira Mikijiro. Miyuki is played by the beautiful Esumi Makiko who cuts an elegant figure as an impressive hitwoman with her supple movements, high boots and kimono.

Filmmaker
Suzuki Seijun
Premiere
-
Country
Japan
Year
2001
Medium
35mm
Length
112’
Language
Japanese
Producer
SHOCHIKU BROADCASTING CO., LTD., Satoru Ogura, Katashima Ikki
Sales
SHOCHIKU BROADCASTING CO., LTD.