videoRina Sawayama 'Bad Friend' by Ali Kurr
Rina Sawayama and Ali Kurr's previous videos, for STFU! and XS have shown an artist capable of taking on vibrant, madcap personas. The video for Bad Friend is another case entirely, and just as intriguing: Rina becomes a character in an old Japanese movie - a young male salaryman, who's heart has just been broken.Taking their seat in a dive bar, Sawayama's character stares at a wedding ring in a mist of cigarette smoke. It's been a bad day, and it's time to drink away all the emotions. Then they are suddenly interrupted by another older customer, who insists the sad salaryman accept his offer to drink whisky with him.Then things take their course, as they do in bars. Misery turns to drunken jollity - but then things turn surprisingly nasty. Things degenerate into a believably messy bar brawl, to the horror of the few other inhabitants of the bar. But that's not quite the end of the story...From the intriguing setting - and DoP Amelia Hazlerigg gives this a real film noir flair that elevates the dramatic mood from the start - it is a wonderfully well-constructed and performed narrative that makes this arguably Sawayama and Kurr's most satisfying collaboration yet.
Rob Ulitski - 1st June 2020