The Quiet Visuals of Drive My Car

Yusuke's apartment Yusuke's living room

Tyler Watamanuk describes the soft design and photography details that helped make Drive My Car one of my favorite movies from 2021.

the loudest visual in Drive My Car is a glossy shade of cherry red. It comes courtesy of a Saab 900 Turbo, the adored possession of protagonist Yūsuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima). Yūsuke never strays from the film’s low visual tone.

Yusuke's cherry red Saab

The apartment is full of warm little objects that make the space feel real, like this clothes brush dangling on a coat rack.

Clothes brush on a coat rack

See also: The Unusual Cool of Saabs.

Before I owned my Saab, I believed that all cars were either functional or luxurious. There was the Toyota Camry or the Porsche, the minivan or the sports car. But a Saab, modest and Scandinavian, exists on a different axis. My car is distinctly impractical and worth very little. It is coveted for intangible reasons — chiefly its eccentricity.