From Takeshi Kitano comes the poignant coming-of-age story of two troubled high-school students, as they try to find their way into adulthood through the violent worlds of competitive boxing and the yakuza.
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Cinematography by Katsumi Yanagijima. "Desire" list. The recent viewing of Tsai Ming-liang's "No No Sleep" made me recognize in the exquisite Masanobu Andô someone from a previous film, like a relationship remotely stored in memory for its emotional closeness. A search led me to this film and the memory cleared: the Adonis of the recent movie was this handsome misfit that so well integrated Kitano cinema.
one of the most beautiful works on color, the red and the blue constantly fighting over the geometrical frame - it's like Kitano creates two different universes (the vivid colors and the cold geometrical framing) in the same shot, a battle like Shinji and Masaru often fight
Kitano's first great film? Misce en scene, immensely complex shot/reverse shot patterns, blocking in depth, tonal counterpoint. He won't equal this one until ACHILLES AND THE TORTOISE; both are pathetically undervalued in the West, not following our pre-occupation with genre and cathartic violence...
I'm surprised no ones commented on this one as of yet, I still see it as one of Kitano's better works. Somewhat reminiscent of JSA or Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring in its heavily cyclical nature. By film's end, nothing has really changed...
An affectionate portrayal of adolescent misfits which in many ways shows Kitano at his most socially pessimistic: a Japan where young adults are doomed to struggle, regardless of whether they kick against the pricks or conform to expectations. Legitimate business and institutions are shown to be as corrupt and hypocritical as yakuza clans. The optimism of the film's final moments are therefore poignantly ambiguous.