Tom Vick is curator of film at the Freer | Sacker, Smithsonian Institution, and author of Time and Place Are Nonsense: The Films of Seijun Suzuki. PLEASE NOTE: VICK WILL INTRODUCE MAY 12 SCREENING ONLY.
Tetsuya Watari, Chieko Matsubara, Hideaki Nitani, Ryuji Kita,
Tasked with making a vehicle for actor/singer Tetsuya Watari to croon the title song, Suzuki concocted this crazy yarn about a reformed yakuza on the run from his former comrades. The film is mainly an excuse to stage an escalating series of goofy musical numbers and over-the-top fight scenes. Popping with garish colors, self-parodic style, and avant-garde visual design, Tokyo Drifter embodies a late-1960s zeitgeist in which trash and art joyfully comingle. “The result is one of the most brilliant genre movies ever made” (Tony Rayns).