Japanese Film Festival | Satellite

Pistol Opera


Directed by: Seijun Suzuki

Year: 2001

Length: 112 minutes

Classification rating: Unclassified 15+ (under 15s must be accompanied by an adult; contains violence and sexual references)

Screens in: Sydney and Brisbane


“Dogs follow masters, but I’m a stray cat.”

The beautiful and deadly Stray Cat is ranked number three in The Guild, an underground organisation of assassins. Though she doesn’t know who the leaders and members are or even if the organisation actually exists, she is issued assignments by a mysterious woman named Sayoko Uekyō who functions as the intermediary between The Guild and Stray Cat.

When Sayoko assigns her a new target, The Guild’s number one assassin, Hundred Eyes, Stray Cat’s hunger for power and status wins out and she embarks on a hunt to claw her way to the top, stylishly defeating every assassin in her way.

Thirty years after his controversial Branded to Kill, master filmmaker Seijun Suzuki returns with the stylish and stunning sequel-yet-not-quite-a-sequel Pistol Opera—a celebration of Suzuki’s signature style, complete with outlandish yet tight storylines, offbeat editing, lavish colour and over-the-top action.

Seijun Suzuki won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Brisbane International Film Festival 2002 (he was awarded the win for Pistol Opera's highly personal blend of traditional and experimental cinema)
Audience warning: Contains violence and sexual references


Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney


Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney


General admission only
Please arrive 30 minutes before the screening

QAGOMA, Brisbane


General admission only
Please arrive 30 minutes before the screening

QAGOMA, Brisbane

Director: Seijun Suzuki

Script Supervisor: Kazunori Ito

Cinematographer: Yonezo Maeda

Production Design by: Takeo Kimura

Special Effects by: Shinji Higuchi

Editor: Akira Suzuki

Cast: Makiko Esumi, Sayoko Yamaguchi, Hanae Kan, Mikijiro Hira, Kirin Kiki, Masatoshi Nagase, Haruko Kato and Woudstra Jan

Genre: Classics

Language(s): In Japanese with English subtitles

Format: 35mm colour

This film is part of the JFF Classics 2020 program, Provocation and Disruption: Radical Japanese Filmmaking from the 1960s to the 2000s.

From subversive Japanese New Wave cinema to surrealist psychedelic expressions and gritty cyberpunk, Provocation and Disruption features boundary-shattering masterpieces from avant-garde Japanese auteurs including Seijun Suzuki, Shinya Tsukamoto and Nobuhiko Ōbayashi. The program is all about the poetic, the abstract, the visceral and the abrasive in visionary Japanese cinema. This program broadly encapsulates films that were fiercely uncompromising and transcended convention, each leaving its unique mark on Japan’s film industry.