starring: Kantaro Suga ·
the Shuji Terayama films have moments of fantasy, but this one, consisting
of dark pieces from his tormented childhood, is a collection of dream
motifs with very disturbing symbolism. The story, as told through the
eyes of young Terayama, is set in northern Japan where the boy tries
unsuccessfully to break free from the ties of his overly protective
mother. At one point he visits a medium, a crusty old fortune teller,
who says she can put him into contact with his dead father. The resulting
seance drastically threatens his already tenuous grip on reality. Anther
sequence depicts an imaginary, torrid liaison between the boy and a
neighbor's sexy wife, culminating with a vicious beating from his mom.
These snips of life continue to haunt Terayama today (in this film)
as he tries to remember things in a better, healthier way, only to have
the horror constantly bleed through, destroying the pleasant memories.
troubled look at life, as the director creates a cinematic tapestry
of contrasts, illusions and dilemma. The supernatural overtones put
this cult film in the fantasy genre; some of the images are nightmarish
to the point of horrific. Many Terayama fans consider this to be his
masterpiece. It is stylistically similar to FAREWELL
TO HE ARK while the narrative more closely resembles THROW
AWAY YOUR BOOKS.