A surreal, isolated village sees its inhabitants gradually leave behind their mutual traditions and superstitions as they leave for the city. Among them are two cousins who love each other and who get into a quarrel with other villagers.
I am probably the only person to think this, but I would rather watch this unseen boxing film than the universally appraised Rocky. Rocky was released a year prior, and there are countless similarities. Terayama improves on the source film ten-fold, and turns the story into a gripping, tense and enjoyable sports movie.
The story concerns a boxer which has just been told he should give up the profession. The day before, he accidentally kills a man at at a construction site. He approaches the brother of the victim, who was a boxing master years ago, to train him to become the next boxing champion.
I found the training montages (what everyone loves about Rocky), to be the best part of the film. By using the industrial landscape, desolate train tracks, open roads and concrete bridges, Terayama turns a polluted deteriorating city into something stylised and memorable. The story is incredibly predictable, limiting his typical insane aesthetic, although all of his other auteur techniiques are there. Mainly awesome music, an alternating colour palette, train tracks, and a Fellini influence. No clocks though...
For me, it's his third best film (Pastoral being first, Throw Away Your Books being second and Farewell to the Ark being fourth), but not to be missed at all.
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