Shônen | 少年 | Boy [1969]

4/10 | 12.Apr.12
Shônen | 少年 | Boy

DIRECTOR: Nagisa Oshima | WRITERS: Nagisa Oshima, Tsutomu Tamura | CAST: Akiko Koyama, Fumio Watanabe, Tetsuo Abe | Japan

I really didn’t like Nagisa Oshima’s Shônen. I didn’t hate it or loathe it, I just didn’t like it. It’s based on an apparently true story of a family of con artists who staged accidents all over Japan for their livelihood by stepping into the paths of cars, faking being hit, and then extorting money out of the motorists. This line of work was first carried out by the step-mother alone, but she soon teaches the 10-year-old boy of the title how to do it too. Boy is alienated from everyone and everything in his life (Father tells him that his grandparents were glad to get rid of him and that his old desk at school has been replaced) and he’s resorted to playing Hide-and-Seek with himself. Yes, the film is that obvious. The movie has an ugly look with a couple of scenes shot for no discernable reason with colored filters so that the picture is monochromatic blue or bronze for a short while a couple of times. Groovy.

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