Pistol Opera (2001)

Pistol Opera



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

After nearly a decade since his last directorial outing, Seijun Suzuki returns to the silver screen with this visually striking reworking of his most notorious movie Branded to Kill -- a film so bizarre and daring that it got him fired from Nikkatsu studios. In this go around, the gender of the characters has been switched. Instead of Jo Shishido, Makiko Esumi plays No. 3 AKA Stray Cat who, decked out in a kimono and knee-high leather boots, is assigned by her shadowy union representative Kayoko … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Anime & Manga, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Kazunori Ito, Takeo Kimura
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 24, 2003

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as Miyuki Minazuki/Stra...

as Sayoko Uekyo

as Sayoko

as Man Dressed in Black...

as Goro Hanada/No. 0 Th...

as Man at Tokyo Station...

as Shizuka Origuchi/No....

as Girl Sayoko

as Painless Surgeon

as Koroshi-ya No. 7
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Critic Reviews for Pistol Opera

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (7)

I couldn't give a fully coherent synopsis of Pistol Opera if my life depended on it, but it's still the most fun new movie I've seen since Mulholland Drive and Waking Life (both also 2001).

Full Review… | August 22, 2003
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Eighty-year-old Japanese director Suzuki Seijun has always been a gifted master stylist, and Pistol Opera shows that his unique vision has not dulled with age.

July 3, 2003
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Nothing in Pistol Opera ever seems remotely possible, but it's still gorgeous art -- like a dream David Lynch had after watching too many John Woo movies.

Full Review… | June 20, 2003
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

Insanely likable but suffers from anemia.

Full Review… | June 13, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

There's style and panache to spare.

June 13, 2003
New York Post
Top Critic

Suzuki has made the ultimate meta-movie, a self-parodying, surrealist gangster daydream as intoxicating and insubstantial as an absinthe swoon.

Full Review… | June 10, 2003
Village Voice
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Pistol Opera

In what seems to be intended as a fun, avant-garde romp, "Pistol Opera" is made up of sometimes nonsensical but lighthearted scenes featuring shootings and stabbings galore. This is Seijun Suzuki's followup to his 1967 film "Branded to Kill," a stylish film said to have been an inspiration to the likes of John Woo and Quentin Tarantino. Be that as it may, this film is no Pulp Fiction. It's meant for avant-garde buffs only.

In the acting department, Esumi Makiko as the deadly Miyuki Minazuki, a.k.a. Killer #3, is wonderful. She plays her role convincingly, providing the emotional depth of someone who could die at any moment. A tough film to digest at first, it's perhaps the Japanese equivalent to a David Lynch film. Suggestive and original, it's a film that's in its' own creative world. I could liken it to watching a stage performance or play, but perhaps a little too pretentious for its' own good at times. Either way, if you're in the mood for something interesting, check it out.

El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

WOW! Holy f****** cow! Alright, after seeing the trailer and hearing the title I knew I was expecting something out of the ordinary. Let me tell you, it really was something out of the ordinary. I've honestly seen some weird movies in my lifetime, but this film is near, if not the top of the "What the hell just happened?" pyramid. Nothing could have prepared me for this.The concept of the story is interesting. If you didn't know anything about this film and you heard the synopsis you will most likely want to know more about this movie. With that said, this movie is ridiculously weird. Weird, weird, weird, weird, weird. I don't even know how to explain it. No one in this entire universe will ever be able to understand what is fully going on here. Maybe with a viewing of more than 10 times then just maybe will it be possible. This movie just jumps around way too much.The thing with this is that although you will only be able to grasp a little bit of what is going on, you still will not become bored because this movie moves very quickly for the most part. Not only that, but this movie is pretty stunning visually. It does have some nice cinematography as well as some colorful set and costume designs. Not to mention the unusual dialogue. This saves the film from becoming a complete disaster.I don't even know how to rate the acting in this film. I might be inclined to say that it was pretty good, but the way that this movie was, I just truly don't know. Makiko Esumi is beautiful though.You want to know about the action? Well there is quite a bit of gun play in here, but I don't know if I would consider the shootouts action scenes. They are more of a theatrical dance if I may call it that.I've heard this movie being defined as "fun and entertaining." I can certainly see why, but I feel that only a few people may find it that way. It definitely has style, but it is just too "out of this world." I would say that 90% of the population is not ready for this.

JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

Far too arthouse for it's own good...

Marcus Woolcott

Super Reviewer

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