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Kimi ga wakamono nara 1970
Description: If You Were Young: Rage highlights the another side of post-war Japanese prosperity, focusing on the throngs of young folks who missed out on the boom. We follow a group of young boys that can't seem to receive ahead, despite their willingness to try. Then one hits upon a plane - to work together to save for a dump truck and thus become independent contractors and be their own bosses at last. Ultimately life presents obstacles: jail for one, violence at the hands of the police for other and a girlfriend and subsequent kids for the third. An early Kinji Fukasaku gem that imports the freewheeling style of the French Fresh Wave and the hip detachment of American noir.
Released: N/A Director: Kinji Fukasaku Writers: Kinji Fukasaku, Ai Kennedy (translation), Koji Matsumoto, Takehiro Nakajima Actors: Tetsuo Ishidate, Gin Maeda, Chôichirô Kawarasaki, Hideki Hayashi Genres: Drama
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Kimi ga wakamono nara Reviews:

A nice and wise director (whom shall remain nameless) once remarked A film is risky if only for the mood it may evoke, and the choice of when to see a film is just as necessary as the film you select to see. IF YOU WERE YOUNG, is the type of film that will definitely change your mood, no matter the mood you were in prior to viewing it. Fukusaku Kinji, the director of this unbelievable lesson, has remarked that during the time of this movie the Japanese Social System was concerned with encouraging the youth of the country to test and search a method for themselves, to NOT be so easy discouraged by failure and that failure in reality is a path to starting again. Fukusaku not only explores the potential possessed by youth but he also wades through the delicate topics of the criminal nature that exists in us all.What begins out as a GROUP of mates eventually BOILS (literally) down to ONE. Only one mate remains standing at the end of this movie and his remark to himself is that HE TOO WILL START OVER because after all there is everytime hope. Perhaps in a cheeky type of method Mr. Fukusaku was being cynical in his portrayal of youth in this film.For example: after spending a night in Jail the young boys of youth are released, bounding with energy and full of Hope deciding to pool their monies to purchase a truck. HERE Fukusaku shows us that JAIL for wayward youth can be a unbelievable occasion for self discovery. I doubt many youth would search that to be the case, Nevertheless this is where the storyline begins...EVENTUALLY every youth is lost---victims of crime, circumstance or missed occasion after every of which Mr. Fukusaku would have us trust that underneath disappointment lies opportunity. Cynical? Perhaps. YET Fukusaku also shows us that YOUTH by it's very nature is NOT a time to RAGE (most likely because of how easy it is for disaster to strike) BUT a time for introspection, a time to TRY and challenge oneself--- to be something one may not trust one can be. Quite simply... there is everytime hope.RAGE is a subtle bittersweet film. To be watched on an early rainy afternoon with the lights out and the curtains open. A movie that is both cynical and optimistic. Perhaps in his end, Fukusaku Kinji realized, like that nice director who lectured on whispers in movie language, that movies in themselves ARE moods, slaves to the Category they gotta obey. Sure there may be many who will never consider RAGE to be one of the nice directors greatest but in my humble opinion it is easy the most enlightening picture in his masterful oeuvre.


While not denying the criticisms leveled by another reviewers, I found a resonance in this film that transcends the narrow framework on which it is set, the economic challenges of Japan in the 1960's.The case has been fairly well laid out--five friends, drawn together in a dream of hope for the future in a heartless city, the low are weeded out, the two who succeed search no happiness.But the movie is not about the storyline of a dream deferred, it is the storyline of the individuals. Every of these characters is defined not by what they are striving for together, although that is the one thing they share in common, but by the weaknesses in their characters, the baggage they have brought with them from childhood, that have made them who they are and conspire to conquer their goals. One was traumatized by his mother's promiscuity, which creates an insurmountable barrier in forming intimate relationships; one was twisted by his insecurities into becoming a chronic liar and vicious coward. These characters rage more vs their private demons that betray them at each turn more than they are fighting vs society. They wish to fit in, to form loving families, to believe and sustain their friends, but they end up betraying one another. It would be accidental if it weren't consciously decided upon, and even they are unable to articulate why they gotta behave as they do. Their own confusion is translated to the audience, and the cinematography contributes to this.There is a bleakness to the movie despite the vivid colors, but at the same time there is a sense that the surviving characters have not given up hope for the future, and the final message in this movie is the same as in "Battle Royale"--Run for all you're worth. Run!


Director Kinji Fukasaku was a winner for Japans post-war youth, posing and protesting why they were exploited so by business and government alike. It's simple to see the context in which the movie is based. After WW2, Japan's youth were often disadvantaged in opportunities, whether in education, family or simply rootlessness; and from this felt discouraged. The government zoned in on this and ushered a lot of juveniles into towns such as Tokyo, where the movie is based, to fuel the growing, yet still unstable economy. And so we have our context.Imagine four Johnny Men from Scorsese's mean Streets. Imagine them on a street to establish their own careers in what was still a fragile lower class and an envious one at that, especially if they were to establish their own independence. Would you think them to succeed? The economy dropped, and our flint five, jobless and impecunious, are hoarding themselves up in their old post-bust warehouse. They lack inspiration, they lack ideas. Their 'nook' in the workforce that was promised to them by the Government has morphed into a ditch. At this point, and since they are exited from their shanty condominium, we would expect them to become like the yakuzas of a Miike film, destroying themselves. And they do, yet they destroy themselves through their dreams. It's this that is the strong theme that Fukasaku injects into our ruddy faces: that the impuissant, though they may dream of success, when on the street to it will destroy themselves inevitably and possibly only one will live the dreams of the outcasts he slipped from.When one hits upon a plan- that they are able to make their own nook in the workforce by buying a truck if every of them labors for it, becoming their own bosses, deleting the dust around their trodden existence, we see hope with their eyes and wait for the buying of 'Independence 1' and ride with their eagerness.But Johnny Men they are, and their weak brows are the voracious magnets for obstacles unhoppable: one falls into jail, other is cut-down by the police and the third becomes to much of a gynophiliac. Only two are left with their target completed. Was all worthwhile? They dreamed. They tried. They faced adversity. They were willing to destroy themselves for one another. But is this what Fukasaku is aiming his camera for? To simply create a statement of will? No, in the end the two are weighed down by what has amounted to be their destiny from all their mates failings; they are left waiting for the tidal wave. The two do not jump for joy like the door-porter in Murnau's 'The Last Laugh', as he wears his suit which gives him worth, but simply feel destroyed and useless still.He has made a statement about inevitability: it is not only that the youth could will, but that the government could be willing to support them, otherwise we are left 'with children raised to die'.Though Fukasaku is aligned in his film-making to the Fresh Wave, with his editing styles, gangster stories and even Godardian tales of youth-here the cinematography of Takamoto Ezure, whether or not by order from Fukasuku, with it's jaunty angles, tempo-like movements and the montage and editing, reading like a Fresh Wave piece, makes it unnecessarily seem like we are riding with their destruction for the Freanch pleasure of the website itself. This is wholly inadequate, for what Fukasaku seemed to really be trying to do was create a ruining impact of social brutality and lacrimation at what may be recurring social forces, how the failings repeat themselves, again and again. He fails here, and by watching it seems more like the ruining impact of the vehicle ruin at the end of Godards' Le Mepris, a statement about film. We can't receive past the dolly droll of stylizations to the simplistic, raw statement that was so near to cinematic disclosure. Instead it reads like Pierre Belmondo and Anna Karenina in a Godard film, colourful sticky tape stuck upon the day with no mind for the day after tomorrow, holding up a line of stylized celluloid sunglasses for our pleasure.However, it comes down to the viewer to gain something from a film, and if you watch this you will see and feel the social discussions I have talked about. They may or may not affect you strongly, since the movie is muddled and confused, ununified- yet the storyline exists, it is strong. The celluloid exists, it is stylistic.



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