Tôkyô nagaremono (1966)
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During 89 minutes Suzuki both indulges in and wipes the floor with gangster movie conventions.
Great movie. Classic Japanese gangsters movie, with some crazy psychedelic scenes in a disco club where the mafia is based.. Also a proof that Tarantino's movies are all a copy of these movies, its all there.
Seijun Suzuki is a rule-breaking Japanese director I really need to seek out more. 1966's Tokyo Drifter is considered his best work, a strange mash-up of Le Samouraï and Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, that sees a hitman for one Yakuza family try to leave the life after his boss is defeated, and becomes a target for assassination himself. A classic enough premise, but we're not ready for what follows. Nominally noir, this colorful film pushes the limits of diagetics to often resemble - in color, set design, and of course music - a classic musical. Suzuki takes a lot of chances every step of the way, and if all of them don't necessarily pay off (the plot is a bit confusing on first approach and some of the visual tricks are just that, tricks), most do. The more you watch, the more you're engrossed, and the finale is a wonderful blend of musical artifice and violent gunplay. And to think this is what Suzuki came up with after his studio told him to calm the f*** down!
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In 5 official lists
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This movie ranks #39 in The Criterion Collection
This movie ranks #72 in Kinema Junpo Top Japanese Films
This movie ranks #167 in Asian Cinema: A Field Guide
This movie ranks #279 in 500 Essential Cult Movies
This movie ranks #915 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die