Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tearing Down the Fourth Wall in Youth of the Beast (1963)

While preparing my next article, here's a nice leftover from my article on Joe Shishido. There's a quick moment in Seijun Suzuki's Youth of the Beast (Yaju no seishun) (1963) where Joe Shishido walks by a Nikkatsu movie theater (the studio that made the movie) with a large marquee featuring Nikkatsu stars Yujiro Ishihara, Hideaki Nitani, Izumi Ashikawa and even Shishido himself!

UPDATE: Re-blogging on this blog isn't exactly what I want to do, but this is too incredible to not share. The next day after posting this small paragraph of an article on Facebook, I was informed by my Facebook friend Chuck Stephens that there's even a bit more to the movie theater story in Youth of the Beast. In the film, the yakuza use the area behind the movie theater's screen as their hideout leading to some surreal images of films playing in the background while Joe Shishido wields a shotgun. Well, that is a whole story in itself. The projected film shown in the scenes background is the Nikkatsu film The Man They Tried to Kill (Kimi wa nerawareteiru) (1960) which led to a whole story of former American Cinematheque programmer, Dennis Bartok, and the appearance of his mom, avant-garde filmmaker LeAnn Bartok, in the film. The whole story is too incredible to believe and must be read:

Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7

Here are some stills of his mother in the background of Youth of the Beast:


  1. That's a great spot Mark, I'll take a look out for this next time I give the Criterion disc a spin.

  2. Good blog... keep-up the good work....May I share an Interview with Akira Kurosawa (imaginary)