Thursday, April 14, 2005

Boy Hooligans from Kishiwada a.k.a. Young Thugs: Nostalgia (Takashi Miike)

You never know what to expect from a Takashi Miike movie. About the closest comparison I can make is with Tarantino (though they're very different filmmakers), mainly because both men's films are a mishmash of styles, usually incredibly violent, and basically comedies at heart. That's a superficial comparison, however, and one that's not entirely accurate, though they do share sensibilites and are fans of each other's stuff. Miike exists in a world of his own, and if you haven't seen any of his stuff, I would recommend "Audition," "Visitor Q," and "Gozu." The Austin Film Society just finished playing a retrospective of his work, which I was excited about, but unfortunately I'd already seen every film they showed. Fortunately, the Alamo Drafthouse Theater stepped in and added 12 more Miike films to the retrospective. Of those, I caught three of them. This one is basically a straightforward coming-of-age comedy/drama about an 11-year-old kid with a drunken, violent father who runs away from home with two friends, then comes back. Still, a straightforward film for Miike also includes scenes like the boy's grandfather shoving a broom handle up the father's ass in front of the entire family because he beat up the boy's teacher, and the boy engaging in several street fights with another boy who wears red leather gloves and swings a ball and chain.

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