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Friday, September 06, 2013

Boy (1969) d. Nagisa Oshima

The Boy, of Nagisa Oshima's Boy (1969)

Movie Review
Boy (1969)
d.  Nagisa Oshima
Streaming on Hulu Plus in Criterion Collection section, not Criterion Collection or Eclipse title.
(Not Available on Amazon)

  Boy directed by Japanese maverick Nagisa Oshima, went up on Hulu Plus streaming last week in the Criterion Collection section.  It's not actually a Criterion Collection release, nor is it part of an Eclipse DVD set.  But it is a classic Japanese film by the most interesting Japanese director I've seen beside Seijun Suzuki.  It's akin to a 60s Gus Van Sant film, focusing on a nuclear family of con artists who work there way from city to city pulling fake car accident scams.

 The Ellis History of Film has high praise for Oshima which I would echo, "Using narrative structures and techniques reminiscent of the French Jean-Luc Godard, Oshima is yet profoundly Japanese in his sensibility."  Boy was the most watchable Japanese film I've yet seen- it was like seeing a parallel universe of indie film making.  Oshima uses all the Godardian tricks, but he tells a compelling, tragic story rooted in human emotion and ideas about family.

  It was previously unavailable on streaming or DVD I believe (based on its absence on Amazon.com) so this is a big score for Criterion Collection on Hulu Plus, and hopefully it signifies a proper Criterion Collection release.  Oshima has some legitimate Criterion Collection/Hulu Plus hits.  In the Realm of the Senses is the number one popular streaming title within the collection (because it has sex in it?) and Double Suicide has a really low Spine number.  And there are six others- but Boy is new.

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