A metaphysical mystery involving a university student's camera getting stolen, and the thief then committing suicide. Looking back upon the event, the situation comes to be questioned if it happened at all.
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 men, although they state it is nothing more than fun with no intention of leading those men on. Kiyoshi and Makoto meet when he saves her from one of those middle aged men who tries to take advantage of her. Despite treating each other abusively, they start a relationship with each other which leads to what they call love, but feels more like an emotional dependence on each other to rebel against traditional society. Each with no money, they start to extort money from these middle aged men who she leads on. This act is only one demonstration of the only power they feel they have, namely sex, which they use against others as well as against each other in their doomed relationship. Written by
A film about adolescent sexuality years before its time
Oshima's film about adolescents in Tokyo was made in 1960 and is extraordinarly prescient: the picture he portrays of teenagers is far in advance of Swinging London and the Summer of Love in San Francisco. His teenage protagonists not only have sex together, but are involved in a sex-crime scam where the girl acts as a decoy for middle aged men to be blackmailed for trying to solicit her sexual services. The treatment of adolescent sexuality is far ahead of its time:Oshima gives us an accurate picture of teenage sexual activity that was unthinkable at the time. Brilliantly shot in cinemascope and exquisitely lit, the film is visually arresting. The sequence where the male lead eats an apple over his sleeping girlfriend's sleeping body is one of many highlights. A little known masterpiece by one of the masters of twentieth century Japanese cinema.
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