(aka "Young Thugs: Nostalgia" or "Kishiwada sh˘nen gurentai: B˘ky˘" )

 

directed by Miike Takashi
Japan 1998

 

The second of Miike’s Kishiwada Sh˘nen Gurentai adaptations is “B˘ky˘”, meaning nostalgia for home, where we go back to 1969 and follow Riichi, who is just about to enter early adolescence.

Being Riichi is not easy. He has a crush on his teacher, his family is dysfunctional, he is “in war” with some other kids and he is beginning to experience early sexuality. More or less the usual problems when coming of age.

The story is structured around how the surround world affects and is reflected by Riichi. One story deals with Riichi discovering pubic hair and learning about the facts of life, one about how the Apollo 11 journey unites everyone, one about a trip during the summer vacation and so on, all woven together by an invisible string, almost as if it’s a road movie down the road to adolescence.

There is only few Miike excursions, like when the grandfather punishes his son by stuffing a broom up his ass. Miike demonstrates both control and respect for the story and the children. His direction is solid and there are scenes which almost seems as inspired by Hou. There is a sense of sensibility, the fragile state of innocence, which captures the images, and a silent profound humour running thru the story, noting upon the irony.

As such, “B˘ky˘” is far from usual Miike. It is exceptional and the most beautiful film Miike has made to date; perhaps even his best. It is an homage to Osaka and to growing up, and demonstrates how a great director Miike really is.

Henrik Sylow

Theatrical Release: September 26nd, 1998

Reviews     DVD Reviews

DVD Review: ArtsMagic - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

ArtsMagic

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:33:47
Video

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.76 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Audio 5.1 Dolby Digital Japanese, 2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: ArtsMagic

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Takashi Miike interview (14:44)
• Osaka people (9:38)
• Trailer
• Original sleeve art
• Cast and Crew filmographies and biographies

DVD Release Date: October 26, 2004
Transparent Keepcase

Chapters 13
 

Comments The image of ArtsMagic is also in question. No exception here. It lacks detail. But apart form that the image is quiet nice, having only minor compression artifacts. On PC there is a little ghosting, but none is seen on stand-alone.

As additional material there is a short interview with Miike, where he touches upon the specifics of the production and the story, and a nice little feature in form of a introduction to Osaka history and culture, which deserves two points of criticism. First, it’s a two part-er, where the other part is on the other “Young Thugs: Innocent Blood” DVD, so one has to buy both DVDs to get full value. Second, the presentation form with Mrs. Tucker in the corner gets old fast; A voice over would have been better. Still, one learns a lot about Osaka here.

One thing dearly missing is an audio commentary by Tom Mes.

 - Henrik Sylow

 



 

Recommended Reading for Japanese Film Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

 

The Japan Journals : 1947-2004,

by  Donald Richie

The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film
by Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp

Kon Ichikawa (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs)

by James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario

Shohei Imamura (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 1)
by James Quandt
Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave Cinema (Midland Book, Mb 469)
by David Desser
The Films of Akira Kurosawa by Donald Ritchie

Tokyo Story

by Yasujiro Ozu, Kogo Noda, Donald Richie, Eric Klestadt

Ozu by Donald Richie

A Hundred Years of Japanese Film by Donald Richie

Check out more in "The Library"




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