Don't the title of the list explain it well enough? This is a list of 200+ quality "short" films. Easy…
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
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…
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.…
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…
To call Tokyo Drifter aesthetically pleasing is as unsatisfyingly lame as saying that it has good cinematography. Such generalizations fail to capture the artistry in every frame of Tokyo Drifter and do director Seijun Suzuki a great injustice.
Everything—from the color palette, to the film stock, to the music, to the editing, to the camera gliding effortlessly through shots or remaining stoically still—feels meticulously crafted within an avant-garde, surrealistic framework. A lot of people rave about the French New Wave films of the 1950s and 1960s, but rarely has, say, the surrealistic mise-en-scène of Godard scratched my "film lovers itch" the way that Suzuki manages with this film.
The story is what it is—an archetypal Yakuza crime tale. But this…
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.
''Drifting, drifting on and on 'til memories of Tokyo are gone.''
Seijun Suzuki was an auteur bursting at the seams and no matter how much Nikkatsu studios attempted to tame and tone down his whacked out sensibilities, his very need to stamp his brand gave his films a kinetic and chaotic vibe that was truly singular.
After recently viewing his surreal and absurdist masterpiece Branded to Kill (released 1 year after this film), I expected to be wowed and dazzled equally with Tokyo Drifter, but it was not quite to be...
With a double, double, triple cross plot that almost defies comprehension, framed in a genre bending, avant-garde exercise in parody with a rambunctious mise en scène that almost defies…
One of the most stylistic films I have ever seen!
More than makes up for its uninteresting characters and familiar story with vibrant visual language and editing. Like a manga exploding on screen, it disorients in a way that's constructive.
I wish the storyline was just as cool as the shots/angles and colour schemes of this film. Most of the time I felt lost and almost disinterested in what was going on and I wanted to like this film. It honestly took me 3 days to finish this film. It's not a bad film but it's not a good one either.
How stylish can a film be? Apparently when it comes to the films of Seijun Suzuki, there's no limits in awesomeness. Look at the colors, look at the way the camera moves... Yes, once again these might sound like obvious answers when talking about the film but they are just stunning. Neon-lighted Tokyo and its streets full of danger. Big cities are often the loneliest and there's no place to Phoenix Tetsu, man without direction, "Tokyo Drifter".
Even though Tetsu tells everybody (to make himself sure of it) that he is lone soul, we can't believe it all the time. One of the most beautiful shots in the film is big tree which Tetsu often takes look at. Its tall…
A trashy and frequently dull script transformed into vibrant, not always meaningful pop art by a director more interested in action and sensual production design than actual narrative sense. It's a world where the height of moral idealism is expressed in a treacly pop song, and the most important thing about a character is how cool they look. It's Japan in its Swinging phase where you might imagine James Bond viewing the Yakusa shenanigans with amusement and a couple geishas hanging off his arms, providing sage advice like 'relax Tetsu, you only live twice.'
What "Kill Bill" wants to be when it grows up.
Tokyo Drifter operates less as a movie and more of a meditation on the themes of loyalty and honor in yakuza eiga. Suzuki gets a lot of flak for making "incomprehensible" movies, but I don't think that's entirely fair. This plot is a fairly generic "former hitman on the run" story, which most of his movies are anyway. Drifter is very, very different because it shows Suzuki finally losing his last fuck, and having no more to give. Visually stunning, and pretty important too.
Another crazy Suzuki film, only this time it’s in color. Full of all of the creative and pointless cinematography that make his films totally worth watching.
Oh Seijun Suzuki, my favorite Japanese Surrealist B-feature director, it’s so nice to see you again. Those of you who read my review of Fighting Elegy, know that he was fired from his contract role at Nikkatsu for making “incomprehensible” films, despite being a profitable director who got some critical attention. This film, compared to that one, actually makes sense for the most part. There are, of course, incredible gaps in the storyline where it’s difficult to figure out what the hell is going on. There is also, however, Suzuki’s trademark unique cinematography and…
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Grave of the Fireflies
- Final Cut - Ladies & Gentlemen
- For All Mankind
- Grand Illusion
- Seven Samurai
- The Lady Vanishes
- The 400 Blows
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 160/739
- Grand Illusion
- Seven Samurai
- The Lady Vanishes
- Crook's Tour
UPDATED: August 26, 2014
The Criterion Collection is a video distribution company that sells "important classic and contemporary films" in…