Archive of films Naked Youth / Seishu zankoku monogatari
1960, 99 min
Section: Shochiku Nouvelle Vague
Nagisa Oshima’s second film was to the Japanese what Godard’s Breathless was to the French. This visually dynamic and unsentimental break with the earlier tradition of domestic cinematography tells the story of young Kiyoshi and a student named Makoto, and how a boyfriend becomes a pimp, and the girlfriend the victim...
Iconoclastic filmmaker Oshima’s second film was to the Japanese what Godard’s Breathless was to the French. This visually dynamic and unsentimental break with the earlier tradition of domestic cinematography paints the story of young Kiyoshi and a student named Makoto, when what was originally a good deed turns into the very opposite. An elderly driver plans to take advantage of Makoto when hitchhiking and takes her somewhere she did not want to go. She is saved from her aggressor by Kiyoshi, who scares him so much that he even gives up his money to save himself from further pursuit. Makoto falls in love with her protector, but her idol himself proves to be an emotional cripple who doesn’t think twice about coercing his lover out of destitution in order to make a living for them both: Makoto is forced into the cars of affluent drivers and as soon as their interest in the flirtatious hitchhiker crosses the line of decency, Kiyoshi, trailing them all the while on a motorcycle, intervenes. The lovers then demand financial compensation for not reporting the harassment… The love story suddenly becomes a tale of emotional frustration and abuse, the boyfriend becomes the pimp, the girlfriend becomes the victim...
About the director
Nagisa Oshima (b. 1932, Kyoto) comes from a family of samurai. The most famous and most controversial of the young directors, Oshima sparked off the New Wave in Japan with his debut A Street of Love and Hope in 1959. He had a penchant for literature and poetry in his adolescence and in college became a leading activist in the leftist movement. A direct political dimension, often on the border with documentary, and the influence of the French New Wave, particularly Godard, are evident in the majority of his films, which he got the opportunity to make after working for six years as an assistant in the Shochiku company. His work is replete with fierce criticism of his society that secluded him even after his departure from Shochiku when he began working independently. The apex of his work may be considered In the The Realm of the Senses (Ai no korida, 1976), a scandalous tale of sexual obsession based on a true story.
About the film
Color, 35 mm
|Section:||Shochiku Nouvelle Vague|
|Dir. of Photography:||Takashi Kawamata|
|Cast:||Yusuke Kawazu, Miyuki Kuwano, Yoshiko Kuga, Kei Sato, Fumio Watanabe, Jun Hanemura|
|Contact:||Shochiku Co., Ltd., Kawakita Memorial Film Institute|
Film Institution Rep.