Firebrand auteur Nagisa Ōshima offers a devastating vision of moral rot within postwar Japanese society in the form of a hauntingly sad family tragedy. Inspired by a scandalous true story, Boy follows ten-year-old Toshio (Tetsuo Abe, an orphan whose real life mirrored the tumultuous upbringing of his character) whose grifter parents use him as a pawn in a scheme to stage car accidents and then extort money from the drivers. As the family crisscrosses Japan in an increasingly desperate attempt to elude the law, Toshio escapes into an imaginary world of science fiction fantasy and space aliens that he dreams will deliver him from his harrowing existence. Applying the blistering stylistic experimentation of his earlier Japanese New Wave touchstones with newfound restraint, Ōshima adopts a relatively sober docudrama approach that proves no less shocking and subversive in its emotionally annihilating portrait of a stolen childhood.
The themes, images, and cultural vernacular of Victor Fleming’s The Wizard of Oz continue to haunt David Lynch’s art and filmography—from his very first short, The Alphabet, to his latest series, Twin Peaks: The Return. Arguably, no filmmaker has so consistently drawn inspiration—consciously or unconsciously—from a single work.
Alexandre O. Philippe
Childhood friends Pietro and Bruno experience maturity, loss, and the rediscovery of an unbreakable connection when they reunite in adulthood to build a cabin on the rugged slopes of the Italian Alps.
One of the major achievements of twenty-first-century cinema thus far, Béla Tarr’s mesmeric parable of societal collapse is an enigma of transcendent visual, philosophical, and mystical resonance.
Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky