a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Tokyo Drifter / トーキョードリフター

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Singer/songwriter Kenta Maeno teams up with director Matsue Tetsuaki for a document of purely cinematic performance art in Tokyo Drifter. In their previous pairing, a single take followed Maeno through the streets of Kichijoji, musing on relationships and whatever crossed his mind. In Tokyo Drifter, there’s some editing – rough and offhand – and the theme is much different. Here is a set of songs, a quirky love letter to Tokyo. What gives the film a kind of bassackwards frisson is the documentation and celebration of the physical darkness – lights were turned off – after the earthquake and tsunami of March 11. Tokyo Drifter follows Maeno over one rainy night to places around Tokyo, in more normal times fully lit, now plunged in darkness. He sings his songs and moves on. The ugly visuals range from the jiggly and out of focus to the rain blurred – an analog to the striking visuals from ketais that documented the events in Tohoku. Tetsuaki has made a strangely moving testament to pulling out the best from hard times.

Originally published in EL Magazine, December, 2011.

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

December 1, 2011 at 1:09 am

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