The Warped Ones
The Warped Ones – WOW. This film is crazy.
The opening is a rapid montage of jazz posters and a driving jazz score by Toshirô Mayuzumi. Really, this film seems to be an aesthetic attempt by Koreyoshi Kurahara to capture the free-form madness of jazz. And I think he succeeds.
Superficially, The Warped Ones (Kyonetsu No Kisetsu) follows the story of the jazz-obsessed Akira (Tamio Kawaji) and his two friends on their frenzied joyrides through the city and to the beach in a stolen car. Along the way they manage to rip off American tourists, exact revenge on a do-gooder, and Akira rapes a young female artist.
There is no rhyme or reason to Akira’s anarchistic ride. It really is a clarion call for disaffected youth, which is why there seems to be a lot of references to Jean-Luc Godard’s À bout de souffle when discussing The Warped Ones. Having watched À bout de souffle recently, I believe The Warped Ones is crazier, in both the characterisations of its protagonists, as well as Yoshio Mamiya’s dazzling cinematography. Mamiya gets his camera into some remarkably tight sets and still manages fluid movement and complicated staging. When the warped ones hit the road, the cinematography becomes even wilder, with whip-pans mounted on the car’s exterior and manic handheld work in the car’s interior. For 75 minutes, The Warped Ones is one dizzying experience.