The Fast and the Furious Three: Tokyo Drift

The Fast and the Furious Three: Tokyo Drift is due for release in a couple of months. One of the interesting things from the recently released trailer is the tagline:

This Summer
Speed Needs
No Translation

Translation implies a cross-cultural exchange. The ‘translation’ line is relevant because the film is largely set in the ‘underground drift racing scene’ of Tokyo. Funnily enough, my only two publications online deal with both aspects of this tagline. Regarding the relation of alterity between Japanese and US car cultures see my article here on the failure of the Pontiac GTO (aka Holden Monaro) in the US. The article includes extensive commentary on the Fast and the Furious franchise.

What is ‘speed’ and how could it be translated? If you read my short article here on the affects of speed and automobility you’ll get some idea of why this is only partially true. To the extent that the affects of speed pertain to a particular single culture of automobility, then ‘speed’ doesn’t need to be translated. However, ‘speed’ in itself is not transcultural, only the mass-produced affects and commodities of automobility are, including mass-produced ‘road users’.

Other interesting things to come out of the impending film release is that a video game is being released for mobile phones. The fellows in Melbourne whom I have had some dealings with have also experimented with mobile phone media.

Heaps of stuff on this French blog.

Lastly, it will be very interesting to do a comparative reading of the Initial D live action movie against FF3, both come out of very successful franchises and both deal with enthusiast Japanese car culture. FF3 is looking very Hollywood compared to the almost quaint but definitely restrained realism of Initial D. On opening in Hong Kong Initial D made more money than Mr and Mrs Smith and Star Wars Ep3.

I am not sure if I’ll have enough time to squeeze FF3 into my dissertation.

2 replies on “The Fast and the Furious Three: Tokyo Drift”

  1. “both deal with enthusiast Japanese car culture”

    Really? Particularly with regard to FF3 isn’t it a representation of J-car culture/drift culture based on pop/sub-culture representations like the Inital D animation and the increasingly high profile of drift/”sport compact racing” in the US?

    Not to mention that there are different J-car cultures – have you heard of bosozuko/garuchan? It’s awesome. I can link you up if you like.

  2. Ben, I don’t know, is there a difference between representations of representatins and just representations? Or can such a difference be maintained?

    Drifting in Japan is as discursively constructed through representation, for example, with D1, media coverage of D1, and pop-culture such as Initial D, as it is in the US. Are you saying that Japanese representations of Japanese enthusiast culture are more ‘authentic’ than US representations? Or that there is a major difference in that US representations are expressions of a relation of alterity captured in the term ‘import’? If you are, then I would agree with you in part, I think, for all these questions. To put it pithly, it is the difference between enthusiast Japanese car culture and ‘enthusiast Japanese car culture’.

    But what you are getting at with your other question regarding the other forms of enthusiast Japanese car culture, am I going to address other forms of enthusiast japanese car culture in my dissertation? No. It is on “contemporary Australian modified-car culture” which I argue emerges roughly with the birth of street machining. My interest for this section of the dissertation are the global flows of media, cars and associated practises, and how such flows impact on enthusiast cultures and get folded and circulate some more (ala TFATF, Initial D, and even the Monaro/GTO). The big thing here are the cars which exist in affective circuits of enthusiasm just as much as the media representations.

Comments are closed.