Quick-Thoughts: Seijun Suzuki’s Tokyo Drifter (1966)

Seijun Suzuki Marathon Part IV of V


Nahhh, Seijun Suzuki definitely tripped acid to make this, at least during post-production. This is some seriously new wave-y hodgepodge-d s**t with its almost incomprehensible surrealist’s continuity. By the millisecond this thing can hop from being a Jean-Pierre Melville picture to a Mel Brooks one, and is fragranced in a psychedelia of angelic-looking set pieces enhancing the audacity of it all. Regarding the protruding elephant in the room, Quentin Tarantino himself must’ve jotted the f**k down in his stealer’s notepad during initial screenings of this cartoony western meets crime genre paroxysm. Not sure if it’s as enjoyable, especially story or character-wise next to an actual Melville, as it is just baffling to a degree of being inspired, such as a Godard, but sometimes the best films are only crafted the way they are because films like Tokyo Drifter decided to recklessly make a move first. Great tunes also. The shootouts don’t hurt it either. 

Worst blocked Suzuki movie so far though, partially compensated nonetheless by its out-of-pocket cutting. Jarring… but with style! 

Verdict: B

Seijun Suzuki Ranked

“Tokyo Drifter” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel.

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