Movies that are slightly off.
Tetsu has joined his yakuza boss in going straight, but when a rival gang threatens to bring them back into the gang wars, Tetsu must become a drifter to keep the pressure off his old boss
There comes a point in which an artist, after developing all of the components of his cinematic vision independently through experimentation and genre variety, makes his style evolve up to a point of reaching a peak. This peak represents the stability of it all, and has a voice of its own. It puts everything into balance and allows for the artist to finally express what he always wanted to express with a distinguished sense of expression.
Calling Tokyo Drifter a stylish yakuza color film is an understatement out of this world. Tokyo Drifter opens with a black-and-white tone and an unforgiving aggressiveness, highlighting particular objects with vivid colors like Suzuki previously did in Shunpu Den (1965) for dramatic effect. After…
He's the Tokyo Drifter. Drifting, drifting on and on. Till memories of Tokyo are gone.
When I watched this a while back, I knew I had fallen in love with the film when that "Tokyo Drifter" theme started cracking and scenes of Japan nightlife rolled past in the background. And after rewatching it again tonight I learned two things.
1. That theme never gets old
2. This film somehow got even more cool.
I imagine if Le Samourai mad Blade Runner had a one night stand and produced a bastard child, Tokyo Drifter would probably be that bastard child. Or something very similar to that... It's like an antithesis to a noir film. It's got the *almost* loner type main…
Whilst Tokyo Drifter might sound like just another yakuza film - about a yakuza member who has to become a drifter to avoid problems with his rival gangs and with his boss -, Seijun Suzuki's film turns out to be an incomparably rich exprience that shows how far ahead of his time the Japanese director was.
Tokyo Drifter won't win your heart with its simple, yet well written story, Seijun Suzuki wins your soul by compiling several little details that turn his film into something remarkable, a film that can define the words 'cool' and 'stylish' with a single frame.
Japanese director Seijun Suzuki offers his viewers an immensely rich visual experience as Tokyo Drifter might be one of the…
What seemed like a stylish yakuza film with a straight forward story turned into one of the sleekest, coolest things I can think of in that final showdown. If the disc were in better condition, I would screencap just that scene. It's set in a bright room that seems to have no walls, due to the design of it (solid colors all around). Thus, the statues and piano and so on seem to be floating in a void, yet there's still structure to it. There's still reason to it. The confusion created during the conflict seems very intentional--misdirection, not bad direction. It's not exactly tense. You don't think Tetsu's really in danger, but it's so well choreographed that there's a…
Film #7 in The June Challenge
Tokyo Drifter is an incredibly beautiful looking movie, with an intensely stylistic visual language that bursts onto the screen in an explosion of colours. Seijun Suzuki creates an innovative genre picture with this film, one that challenges traditional narrative form and style.
The most interesting features of the film are its editing and production design, each of which are reminiscent of a manga projected on-screen. The film utilizes interesting filters and lighting to create immense visual beauty, and some of the action scenes are elegantly composed. The final action scene is especially notable for the changes in lighting that complement the mood of our hero, as the scene becomes lighter as his rage dissipates.…
This is we're the party's at!
Seijun Suzuki plays with the nikkatsu universe, with so much visual style it practically becomes the film's substance. Might as well be, as there is no plot to speak of, all we have is a muddled narrative filled with an ebundance of cool.
And I can't leave this little column without mentioning the cinematography and how it's highlighting the colours, sets and visual to make you forget the negatives. Because the negatives do exist, they just don't matter.
Tetsuya Watari is almost too cool to bear as "Tetsu", never ever breaking sweat, and out-Omar-ing Omar and his singing badass shtick. When "the drifter comin'", you better run!
At a smooth 80mins running time, this is the perfect capsule of fun for whenever you might need a pick me up.
Very stylish but also somewhat of an empty, superficial experience. The plot is hilarious and that theme song is possibly the epitome of kitsch. I really liked the editing and composition (in addition to the sublime use of colour, which really lends a modern aesthetic to the production and didn't suggest to me at all that the film was made in 1966), but overall the attempts to be as crazy and psychedelic as possible took their toll on me only about halfway through. Sporadically entertaining, especially Tetsu's ridiculously colourful suits.
Suzuki still being on my mind, I finally cracked open my Blu-ray of this and immediately noticed that the film is much more watchable than the old DVD. Other than that, there's little I could add to this film beyond being totally engrossed with the theatricality that Suzuki put forth here on what could have been (and what sounded like should have been in accordance with Nikkatsu's wishes) a decent yakuza hitman tale, washed in delirious color and otherworldly production design that ensured its place as a must-watch for the genre. The film remains one that you can safely say is unlike any other of its kind.
Tokyo Drifter excels as a stylistic film. While the plot doesn't quite match the cinematography, it's still quite enjoyable. Criterion made a wise choice placing this and Branded to Kill back to back in its collection - the films complement each other well and prove to be text book examples of how to respectively use color and black and white to achieve fantastic stylistic results.
Criterion Collection Spine #39
cool hand tetsu
Stylisically wonderful working as a source of inspiration for countless contemporary works, but as a film in and of itself, it lacks drive, tripping over itself in a convoluted story to leave you with no real care for the conclusion.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I watched this as part of Northwest Film Center's Seijun Suzuki retrospective. He's a filmmaker I've wanted to check out for a while, so this was a good way to scratch that itch.
TOKYO DRIFTER was a pretty crazy film to start with! On one hand it's a simple story of a reformed gangster trying to avoid trouble (and constantly failing), but it's also a patchwork of various film styles and genres. One minute it's a black and white art film, later it looks like a Technicolor musical, soon a samurai film, eventually a bar-room brawl that actually takes place in an Old West Saloon styled nightclub, and so on! To Suzuki's credit, this dance of styles never overpowers the…
Cheap hoods on cheap sets with bold color design. There's great effort at style with occasionally inspired composition. It's a 60s Pop Art gangster flick.
It's easy to see director Seijun Suzuki's influence on John Woo, Quentin Tarantino, and probably comic book writer and artist Frank Miller.
At NWFC. Felt duty-bound to watch this having steeped myself on steady viewings of Ghost Dog for about 15 years (Jarmusch cribs pieces from Suzuki's work) and wasn't disappointed. An adaptation of a spin-art gangster daydream. Playful, musical, experimental and with tons of tude.
This is the type of movie I can watch again and again. It's brash beautiful colorful gangster pop art. Characters literally sing their own theme songs of sadness, and every time it feels heartbreaking.
Great 60-90 min films (for those days when you just don't have the energy to watch a 3 hour masterpiece)
Doesn't the title of the list explain it well enough? This is a list of hight quality "short" films. Easy…
The first 1012 films are from The 1,000 Greatest Films list, and maintain the original order. The films that follow…