A mysterious tattoo artist puts his masterpiece, a human-faced spider, on a kidnapped woman's back. She and her lover are then forced into a conspiracy-born nightmare, where they face the ... See full summary »
In 1939, Sakura Nishi is a young army nurse who is sent to the field hospitals in China during the Sino-Japanese war. She has to assist the surgeon Dr. Okabe with an incredible number of ... See full summary »
In Osaka's slum, youth without futures engage in pilfering, assault and robbery, prostitution, and the buying and selling of identity cards and of blood. Alliances constantly shift. Tatsu ... See full summary »
Deals with the intolerably hard life of a family of four, the only inhabitants of a very small Japanese island in the Setonaikai archipelago. Several times a day they row over to the ... See full summary »
The legendary samurai Sasuke Sarutobi tracks the spy Nojiri, while a mysterious figure named Sakon leads a band of men on their own quest for the wily Nojiri. Soon no one knows just who is ... See full summary »
A young samurai, Shojuro Sako, travels on the Tokaido to Edo with his two servants, Genta and Gonpachi. Gonpachi has been told by Shojuro's mother to prevent his Master from drinking... See full synopsis »
Kiyoshi is a brooding young man who treats women solely as objects. Makoto is a young woman who is just reaching her sexual awakening. She and her friends accept car rides from middle aged ... See full summary »
Shuji is an uncompromising young filmmaker at odds with Japanese society. One day he learns that his loan shark brother, who had helped to finance his films, has been executed by his own ... See full summary »
Yoshida is considered to be a leading figure of the Japanese New Wave, along with Nagisa Oshima and Shohei Imamura.
Yoshida's first film was this "Good for Nothing", directed in 1960 for Shochiku Studios. The story is centered on a group of wealthy young students whose lives are spent pretty much in emptiness and boredom. Jun, a disenchanted and poor young man, has become absorbed by this little gang. The youngsters plan a sort of prank crime by kidnapping the secretary of a large corporation which is owned by the father of the gang's leader. While Jun falls in love with Makino, the young woman, she starts to sense good in Jun and tries to lead him on the right path...
Yoshida demonstrates his talent in this early feature, showing for example great mastery of lighting and composition. "Good for Nothing" was strongly influenced by the French New Wave (in some respects, it could be regarded as a Japanese version of Godard's "Breathless") with perhaps a few nods to Oshima's "Cruel Story of Youth". The dynamic black and white cinematography announces the non-conventional mise en scène and fluid camera movements which would become the signature of Yoshida's later films. Although the director is renowned for works like "Akitsu Springs" or "Eros Plus Massacre", I prefer this early effort as it is much less "high brow" and more direct. Yoshida's fans certainly think that his later films are much more elaborate. Not a masterpiece? True. However, I enjoyed this as a well-narrated,well-played, well-filmed story, with beautiful shots of Tokyo streets. Not to mention the musical background (yes, jazz!) and the numerous references to French culture which were quite amusing. You know what?... Sometimes all this is more than enough!
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