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Kenka erejî (1966)
WACKY Satire of Repressed, Fascistic Youths
Even though it suffers from acute VBS (Vinnie Barbarino Syndrome, i.e. all the "schoolchildren" are Thirtyish), this tale of burgeoning adolescent sexuality and burgeoning adolescent aggression is both funny and powerful. Directed by Suzuki Seijun [Tokyo Drifter, Branded to Kill] and scripted by Shindo Kaneto [who was in turn the director of Onibaba], Elegy to Violence has a lot more to say about conformity and militarism than allegedly profound films like Teshigihara's Face of Another.
As the young lad torn between swooning adoration for his Catholic girlfriend and the sense of power and purity he finds in paramilitary gangs, Hideki Takahashi overplays marvelously. He is an encyclopedia of twitches and cringing at first, but that gradually gives way to ridiculous hypermachismo as he gets into more and more fights. (or, as the subtitles put it, "scuffles")
Seijun Suzuki shows that he is keenly aware of the absurdity that underlies all of that hyperbolically heroic bloodshed that makes his other films so sublime.
But those of you just looking for your fix of hip 60s cinema won't be disappointed--with cartoonish sound effects, brutal action, stoned continuity, split screens, sudden fits of slapstick worthy of The Knack or Help!, and immortal lines like "Your manhood will cry if you are afraid" and "Oh Michiko, I do not masturbate--I FIGHT!", how can you go wrong?
Watch for the scene in which Our Hero climbs a watch tower to witness a "scuffle" that he himself fomented--an explicit homage to Yojimbo.
If you are the lover of Austin Powers, you must see this!!!
Mihashi Tatsuya maked 3 of the Kokusai himitsu keisatsu films but the firsts is best!
When I was in school I saw over and over, and all that year I want to give of the karate chops and "snag" with the girls like as in the movie! I also try to maked the gadgets and almost burn my house!
It is a lot like James Bond but more funny. The movie is so popular that America made another one of it, starring Woodsy Allen!!!
Mickey Rooney salvages silly vanity project
Michael Caine struggles valiantly to hold this shambles of a movie together, both onscreen and in the faux-tough-guy narration that tries to stitch together the fitful plot. But he hits the nail on the head when he dismisses the whole thing as "a Magical Mystery Tour"--PULP is one long schoolboy prank gone psychedelically awry.
In PULP, Caine and director Mike Hodges set out to destroy the pulp genre that their last film, the beyond-perfect GET CARTER, had just reinvigorated. The only thing they manage to destroy is any semblance of narrative coherence.
But, the movie does feature a performance for the ages--Mickey Rooney, in a psuedoauotobiographical self-mutilation that rivals anything seen in SUNSET BOULEVARD or WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE. As over-the-hill noir star and mob crony Preston Gilbert, Rooney shreds his onscreen and offscreen personas with hilarious ferocity. Preston Gilbert is foulmothedly obnoxious, as preposterously vain as he is diminuitive and tubby, and violently abusive towards underlings and complete strangers alike. You have not lived till you've seen Andy Hardy himself, resplendent in a child-sized zoot suit and hideous toupee, turn to his kept dame (the spectacularly gorgeous Nadia Cassini) and snap, "Ya hungry, bitch?"
Hammer/Ealing mainstay Dennis Price makes a strong impression as an eccentric old queen who's committed Through the Looking Glass to memory.
Al Lettieri (the guy who kidnapped Sally Struthers and Howard Sprague in Peckinpah's THE GETAWAY) makes no impression as a lumbering transvestite hitman addicted to Ross MacDonald novels--hey, at least he has good taste in literature.
Score by George Martin, aka the Fifth Beatle, who should've known better.
Catch Us If You Can (1965)
An overlooked classic of Swinging London
The Dave Clark Five are certainly no match for the Beatles, but this film is easily worthy of comparison with A Hard Day's Night and Help! A lot of the credit must go to director John Boorman (giving a taste of the visual pyrotechnics he later unleashed in Point Blank), and to the surprisingly melancholy screenplay by Peter Nichols. (Georgy Girl, Privates on Parade)
Two young people, a stuntman (Dave Clark) and a model (Barbara Ferris), go AWOL from a commercial shoot and embark on a trip across England. But their jaunt isn't all larky fun. They bicker and quarrel, they encounter a self-consciously hip and desperately unhappy married couple; they find that their exploits have been incorporated into the glitzy ad campaign they were trying to escape from in the first place.
A fun little rock and roll film that makes dark observations about the impermanence of youthful exuberance, the futility of youthful rebellion, and the commodification of youth culture. Overall, the tone is more in keeping with the manic depressive grunge rock aesthetic than with the go-Go-GO madcap vibe of other youth films of the 60s.