It’s rare in this country for an actual political fight to break out over a filmmaker. The current squabble over Quentin Tarantino’s remarks about police shootings stands out for its oddity — we usually see controversy involving a director only when Michael Moore has a new documentary to promote.
In Japan in 1968, however, public demonstrations were held to protest the firing of a director from his studio contract. When Nikkatsu terminated its relationship with Seijun Suzuki, who had made 40 increasingly strange and striking B-pictures for the company in 12 years — accusing him of making “incomprehensible” films “understood only by an exclusive audience” — radicalized Japanese students, along with film critics and civilian movie lovers, rallied to his cause. (Their efforts were unsuccessful — he wouldn’t release another movie for nine years.) NY Times