I started the original 45. Caliber Samurai while at college in 1999 as part of a film studies class. Our assignment was to create and publish a website based on a film director. Simple enough, yet it seemed pointless to erect yet another internet shrine to the likes of Tarentino, Kurbick or Lynch. No, I wanted to create a site for a director that had absolutely no presence on the internet at all. Thus, while combing thru the pages of the latest issue of Art Forum magazine I saw it, the striking black and white photo of a grinning Japanese gangster with chipmunk-like cheeks holding a gun pointed right between my eyes. (see photo right)
The gangster was Jo Shishido, the movie was Branded to Kill, and the article that accompanied it was about savant director Seijun Suzuki. Its title was Four Play and it was, along with Criterion's recent DVD releases, the only major English language source material about Seijun Suzuki published in the USA to that date. How can you not be intrigued after reading this introduction...
"Urine picturesquely running down a hit man's socks into his wing-tip shoes, a systematic pillow girl servicing an army battalion on the Manchurian frontier, a cold-blooded killer getting aroused sniffing at a pot of rice, a frustrated student pounding a piano’s keys with his erect penis."
Needless to say, I was hooked.At once, I knew my director of choice and thus began my obsession with everything Seijun Suzuki. So now dear reader I give you the article that inspired this site, from the pages of Art Forum, April 1999, Four Play by Howard Hampton.