Jacques Deray's RIFIFI A TOKYO (1962) is painted in thick strokes, yet damn effective as a mod-noir caper film. The moody eyes of its varied Japanese and French protagonists give more narrative information than is in the somewhat thin script, or what i can sense of it with the horrible subs I've acquired.
I am left with the images of car chases in industrial Tokyo, quick, clean cutting, and the nervous sensual lure of Barbara Lass. Whether she is imploring with a straight on gaze or adorably dancing to Japanese music in her hotel room, Lass' appeal is perhaps the foregrounded subject of the film.
The pared down economy of the narrative style is echoed in the way the film captures the movements of cars. There are chases, yet they are glimpsed in cleaved sections; reasons for motion unclear. A car advances; a car reverses...each action is life or death.
The gangsters in Deray's film are stealing jewels, but the characters are suspicious, antagonized, never glamorous.