It is said that he floated for days before being found, though his next destination—the hollowed-out wreckage of postwar Japan—would hardly be more hospitable.Desperate for work and vaguely recalling inspiring pre-war viewings of the early Lilian Harvey-starring German musical (1941), Suzuki took the advice of a friend and applied to the Kamakura Academy, a feeder institution for major studios like Shochiku and Nikkatsu.Struck by an Allied aircraft during the Asia-Pacific War and disinvested of any remaining macho illusions of combat, Seijun Suzuki, then Pvt.
When he returns home to find her corpse in their apartment, he sets off on a frantic quest to find her killer by piecing together a night he can’t remember.
His films, in turn, pop with a vitality that suggests an awareness of that fundamental impermanence, as though his consciousness of time’s passing and life’s precariousness naturally produced a compulsion to make the most of any given limitation.
And as a B-director working within the rigidly hierarchical mainstream industry of Japan, Suzuki knew a lot about limitations.
There may be more mysterious origin stories to be found within the history of world cinema, but likely few that seem so strangely indicative of the career that followed.
Suzuki’s biography is that of a vagrant, a man who moved from one temporary settlement to another, seemingly always on the brink of isolation.