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SOLD OUT – Tokyo Drifter

Seijun Suzuki

In this jazzy gangster film, reformed killer Tetsu’s attempt to go straight is thwarted when his former cohorts call him back to Tokyo to help battle a rival gang. Director Seijun Suzuki’s onslaught of stylized violence and trippy colors is equal parts Russ Meyer, Samuel Fuller, and Nagisa Oshima—an anything-goes, in-your-face rampage. Tokyo Drifter is a delirious highlight of the brilliantly excessive Japanese cinema of the sixties.

“Imagine what a yakuza thriller might look like if it were codirected by Jean-Luc Godard and John Woo, adding a little Sergio Leone and Jean-Pierre Melville, then multiplied by 10.” – TV Guide

“A technicolor explosion of style akin to the Pop Art of the era, Suzuki and [art director] Kimura employ color in bold and unique ways, one sparkling cinemascope frame followed by another. “A man’s life bleeds away in crimson colors,” we’re told. In this film, it does so, remarkably.” – Fandor

“Inspired lunacy.” – Time Out

“An irreverent, cool and colourful jazzlike noir with splashes of clever action — the way Suzuki’s gunfights revolve around positioning, trickery and slight of hand keeps them entertaining without being totally outlandish. Tetsuya Watari is fabulous, bringing a hip melancholy to the crafty protagonist who shares his name.” – Zachary T., Mubi

“…plays like a mix of spaghetti western and samurai melodrama relocated to the pop-art splendor of 1960s Japan…” TCM


  • 1/24 | 9:45PM
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