Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wake Up and Smell the Rice

Today, the Criterion Collection are releasing DVD and Blu-ray editions of Seijun Suzuki’s delirious masterpieces Tokyo Drifter and Branded to Kill.

Would you like some reading material to accompany this visual treat? Of course you would. Good News: In 2004, Wallflower Press published 24 Frames - The Cinema of Japan and Korea, which includes my essay on Branded to Kill. I’d love to point you to a couple of places where you could buy this book, but...

Bad News: A bit of rudimentary Googling reveals that it appears that this volume is now out-of print. All is not lost, though, because...

Good News: I did, however, discover that my chapter is available in its entirety on Google Books. In fact, almost all of the book is there for your reading pleasure. There’s a lot of good stuff in that book from people far smarter and more reputable than me.  I don’t claim to understand the whys and wherefores of Google Books, so I can’t explain why you can read the whole of my chapter on Branded to Kill, but not a single word of my later chapter on Battle Royale.

I’m desperately trying to avoid the usual authorial caveats about material I wrote almost a decade ago. You know the kind of thing I mean. The bits that I re-read that made me cringe, or where I spotted a different way of saying things that were more insightful or useful. Oh well. That book is receding some way off in my rear-view mirror now. Dive in and browse away by clicking here. Enjoy!