Monday, August 16, 2010

Mod Week: Seijun Suzuki’s Tokyo Drifter

Today marks the launch of Mod Week here at AA, where the entirety of this week’s posts will be dedicated to the sights and sounds of mod stylings. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about the mid century modernist aesthetic that really gets me. Perhaps it’s the sleek lines, the kitschy conception of the future, or the post-war jubilance in which we rushed ahead to greet that future.

It’s funny, how the blatant desire to achieve the future in design looks so outdated now. Rather than letting the “future” evolve naturally, this desire to aggressively shape it reveals the ideals of that era. Paradoxically, the future of the 1950’s is a relic of the past. Funny how that works out.

I digress. I figured a fantastic way to kick off Mod Week would be a tribute to the sleek and ultra stylish movie Tokyo Drifter by Seijin Suzuki. Visually stunning, Suzuki uses colors to great effect and turns what is an otherwise straight forward Yakuza film into a modern masterpiece. Each scene is shockingly well established, with elaborate sets built to transmit the beautiful bright Technicolor used to devastating effect. I won’t ruin it, but my god the ending is visually one of the coolest scenes I’ve ever seen on film. Of course, let’s not forget the beautifully tragic theme song as well as the impeccable style of the titular character.

While it lacks the benefit of the original song, this video is the best representation of the film’s aesthetics by far. Although, if you do intend to watch the film I’d be wary as it does contain a fair amount of plot.

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