Saturday, November 6, 2010

Seijun Suzuki's "Branded to Kill" adapted into a zany, violent, sexy stage play

by Chris MaGee

This week has been a Seijun Suzuki marathon for me as I've been writing my two-part article on the fall and rise of the career of maverick director Seijun Suzuki. During my research and rummaging around online I came across a really neat piece of news - "Branded to Kill", the film that got Suzuki fired from Nikkatsu in 1968, has been turned into a stage play!

You heard that right...As part of this year's New York International Fringe Festival small theatre company Depth Charge staged an adaptation of Suzuki's film, a tale of a hitman who goes on a spree of violence in order to become the top assassin in the world, that they've re-titled "Butterfly, Butterfly, Kill Kill Kill!" If you check out the trailer below you'll see that this is not Broadway, but with very limited means Depth Charge has created what they describe as "a yakuza noir featuring monstrous puppets, mystic sex rituals, yellowface assassins, wildly stylized violence, and a live electro-jazz-exotica score." I particularly like the paper cut-outs that recreate the rain/ butterfly sequence with Joe Shishido from the original film.

Check out more about Depth Charge's production of "Butterfly, Butterfly, Kill Kill Kill!" here, and our thanks goes out to .45 Caliber Samurai for pointing us in the direction of this story.

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