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WTF Wednesday: Pistol Opera [Movie]

Posted on May 30, 2013 AT 12:45am

I love movies, regardless of language. Japanese cinema is one of my favorite types, mostly because they seem unafraid of being as crazy as they want to be. This week, I’m going to share something really special with you: Pistol Opera. The name sounds like it would be either a musical, or a hard action flick with a really high body count. Well, the body count in this movie isn’t high, but I think the director was.

Pistol Opera follows Miyuki “Stray Cat” Minazuki, the third best assassin in the world. She is a part of the Assassin’s Guild, and her goal in life is to eventually become the top assassin of the guild, even if that means taking out the number one killer herself. It just so happens that “Thousand Eyes”, the number one, has a price on their head due to putting the guild into a crippled state. Miyuki must best her deadly peers if she wants to bring Thousand Eyes down. The other assassins are a rogue’s gallery of strange individuals: The Teacher, a wheelchair-bound man who never parts with his tracksuit; The Painless Surgeon, a nigh invulnerable Western doctor with an appetite for Japanese women; Dark Horse, a mysterious blonde fellow with a black cloak and a penchant for leaving his victims with a smile. There is also Miyuki’s friend/enemy/lover(?) Sayoko Uekyo, who may keep a chaise in her white robe in case she needs to lay dramatically at any given time.

It sounds like a fantastic plot, doesn’t it? I want you to step away from that thought. This movie isn’t about the plot. It’s about the cinematics, the drama, the staging… The bizarre. The way the characters are framed on camera, the movements of the actors, the music cues, how the cast interacts… Some may call it art, others merely will see insanity. This, my friends, is a wonderful trip of a movie as long as you don’t try too hard to understand it. Pistol Opera was directed by Seijun Suzuki, who was once canned from Nikkatsu Corporation [a Japanese studio which was very popular in the 70s/80s] for being too weird. In an interview for the movie Branded to Kill [which Pistol Opera is a spiritual sequel/remake], Seijun said: “They told me my films didn’t make money and they didn’t make sense, so they fired me”

I don’t want you to just imagine how weird it is. First, I want to you to check out the trailer. Then, if you’re brave enough, watch the whole thing! Maybe next week, I’ll have something in English. But hey, maybe it’ll be Danish, or Russian, or Arabic, or French! The whole world is weird, and we’re gonna travel the globe!

Pistol Opera — Trailer

Pistol Opera — Full Movie


Bryan Todd [aka DieselBT] -- This is where I'm supposed to say something clever about myself. Let's pretend I did, and it conveniently mentions all of my top interests, such as anime, video games, crazy gadgets, electronic music, voice acting, sound editing, and countless other ridiculously fascinating topics. I also like to write stuff about things, which is why I'm here.

...That, and I like your shirt.

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