On The Cusp, Longlist - Music Video

Look Easy

Xavier Tera

Twin Brains Films

After roughly writing the main storyline; a scene taken from a film, a moment where we don't know what happened before and where we won't know what happens after. There was a missing detail that I needed to make this piece respectful of the form yet, making it contemporary in the content. Choosing Luli as the main character, making her a strong woman yakuza character, was the missing piece. Over the fact that she looks amazing for the role, she is a legend in Tokyo, known as the 'mama', she was a famous club manager in the 90s and early 2000s, bringing the Djs from everywhere, friends of famous film directors, Fashion designers and artists. She is the queen of Tokyo. The other important detail I wanted to include was the so-called "hāfu" kids of Tokyo. The kids who are ethnically half Japanese, and still often face difficulty in being seen as fully Japanese by the rest of the population. This is why all the kids in the club are from everywhere - This is the club scene of today in Tokyo. Last but not least, I wanted to make this film and that Japanese people think this was made by a Japanese person. It had to be the most accurate piece about yakuzas since Hana-bi! Culturally, it couldn't be more accurate. From costume design to set design and actors, the music video couldn't be more accurate to the Tokyo culture of today. The car used is a classic Toyota Crown, used by the mob in the 90s. When we get inside the car, hanging up the front seat mirror, a blue Omamori is dancing, left and right as the car is moving. The omamori are used in cars for good luck. We focus on it at the beginning of the car scene, since when we come back to the driver after our main protagonist kills him, the omamori is still moving left and right - luck wasn't enough ;). Originally, yakuza always wore a pin on their suit - so on ours, we found a special pin for them : it's a hand on a vinyl. it's almost impossible to see, but it obviously represents Kaytranada's team. The driver wears white gloves and both of them have a "K" sowed on top, for Kaytranada. In the Office, towards the end, In the background, we have in Japanese calligraphy two kanjis "Kaye" "Tora" referencing "Kaytra" (short from Kaytranada) which means "Gracious Tiger" To finish, as I mentioned earlier, Luli Shioi, our main character, is a legend here in Tokyo. She is known by all as the "Mama" of the cool kids here, and is the best representation of the music and bar scene here.

Xavier Tera (b. 1992) is an international art and fashion photographer and filmmaker from Canada. Currently based in Tokyo, his vivid portraits and documentary work have made him a frequent collaborator of international magazines like Vogue and GQ, capturing in time the portraits of Michael Mann, Haruka Hayase and Flying Lotus, to name but a few. His documentary series brought him to be selected by the Magenta Foundation for 2 years in a row, on their Top 100 Photographers' list. Tera made his directorial debut two years ago, winning a webby award for his short documentary, leading him to direct this first music video for his friend, the artist Kaytranada (two time Grammy winner in 2021).