Jazzy and fast-moving, at times this feels like the Japanese BREATHLESS, but lacking that profound "je ne sais quoi" that infuses Godard's classic, which I can watch over and over again. I'm glad I saw this, it's very good, but by no means an eternal piece of cinema that I will need to see again.
An edifice structured around the contrary struts of sun & sea, fire & water, moving & still camera, twitchy nervousness & Noh mask-like stillness, jazz music & classical, rebellious iconoclasm & formal aestheticism, this film, complex in form & theme, is no simple anti-classical cri de coeur. It also happens to have one of those sublime shots of cinema: Akira & Gill swimming into the sea blazing with fiery light
Comparisons to Breathless are inevitable so let's get this out of the way: this film eats Godard for lunch. Where Godard's film is more a celebration of foreign influences, Koreyoshi uses this same theme to find an emptiness and desire to revolt against ones own culture. The style, in my book, is also more memorable and effective as it implements these foreign elements to create a Japanese film unlike any other,
Amazing cinematography (Yoshio Mamiya) for this milestone of the japanese new wave. Kurahara screams in every shot "FREEDOM !", "ANARCHY !", "JAZZ !" and it is definitely a schock. Unique rhythm and energy makes it a manifesto for a young cinema (something like the anti Ozu way of making films). But the film screams 75 minutes long and that would be my only reserve : you can not be just speedy and loud all the time.