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Kimi ga Wakamono Nara

If You were Young: Rage
Our Dear Buddies

Japan 1970
produced by
Seishi Matsumaru, Saburo Muto, Norio Sunoda for Bungakuza, Shinsei Eigasha/Shochiku
directed by Kinji Fukasaku
starring Tetsuo Ishidate, Gin Maeda, Choichiro Kawarazaki, Hideki Hayashi
written by Kinji Fukasaku, Koji Matsumoto, Takehiro Nakajima, music by Taku Izumi

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Kikuo (Tetsuo Ishidate) and Asao (Gin Maeda) have just bought their own truck, which is pretty much the fulfillment of all their aspirations, even if the way to buy it was rocky: Kikuo and Asao and three others decided to save up for a truck when thrown into jail, but soon Ichiro bailed out when his girlfriend got pregnant and has been continuing to get pregnant ever since, so much so that he has to borrow money frequently just to feed his family. Then ex-boxer Ryuji got killed when he became a strikebreaker just to make enough money to pay the monthly instalments for the truck. And for the same reason, Kyoshi took part in a heist and got busted.

Still, Kikuo and Asao couldn't be happier about their new truck and the money they make from it - but soon there is a strike among the truck drivers, and just to pay their instalment on the truck and not lose their business altogether, they have to become strikebreakers themselves ... which even puts a strain on their friendship. But their friendship is really strained beyond breaking point when Kyoshi escapes from prison, killsa cop and asks his former friends and partners for abode. Kikuo tries to persuade Kyoshi to give himself up the very next day - which would also be the most sensible thing to do as Kyoshi was injured during the escape and is visibly dying before their very eyes. And yet, Kyoshi manages to persuade Asao to take him to the seaside, the place of his birth and youth, where he should have remained nd become a fisherman like his father wanted him to. Kikuo and Asao get in a violent fight about what to do with Kyoshi, that eventually ends with Asao taking the truck to run Kikuo down, then take Kyoshi to the seaside. But Kyoshi dies on the way there, and when Asao notices this, he accidently crashes the truck.

Asao is arrested for helping Kyoshi to escape while Kikuo makes a trip to the crashed truck - and wishes they never would have bought it ...

 

Up to 1970, director Kinji Fukasaku was known first and foremost as a genre director (with a few notable exceptions), but here he tries to make an arthouse film - which turns out to be a film that shows promise but is less than great. Thing is that Fukasaku treats arthouse filmmaking way too much like another form of genre filmmaking, and instead of finding his own cinematic language, he tries to emulate French nouvelle vague and Italian neorealismo, and the socio-political and economical messages the film carries sadly lack real conviction, instead just seem as an excuse for the film to frequently lose sight of its plot.

That all said, If You were Young: Rage is certainly no complete failure and it definitely shows promise - a promise that Fukasaku ironically fulfilled later, when he returned to genre filmmaking, and the gangster genre in particular.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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out now on DVD