Hilariously titled 'R100' (meaning that this movie is not suitable for any persons under the age of 100), this story follows a well-off man with very few unusual things about him - except that he is a desperate masochist. After hearing about a mysterious organisation for sexual deviants, he signs up, with the information that he will be visited by a series of dominatrixes over the course of his one year contract and under strict instruction that he cannot cancel his year-long involvement before the contract's up. His daily life begins to take a turn for the bizarre, as he is repeatedly waylaid in the street and at home by ruthless leather-clad women who proceed to beat him, tie him up and whip him, almost drown him and spit on him. When the time comes that he can't take anymore, will he manage to find a way out?
Continue: R100 - Red Band Trailer
Director Fukasaku (maker of 2000's already-legendary Battle Royale) was a champion of Japan's youth, and in If You Were Young: Rage he chronicles a moment in Japan's history when being young meant being exploited by business and government alike. The hopelessness is built in. But Fukasaku, whose filmmaking method is loosely allied to the New Wave, was an energetic filmmaker too, and the exuberance of his screen technique sometimes pushes the hopelessness to the background. This energy finds its expression in jump cuts, freeze frames, cross-cutting between scenes, flash forwards and flashbacks, and any other cinematic sleight of hand available in 1970. The photography, by Takamoto Ezure, isn't active here; it's exhausting. "Rode hard and put up wet," a friend said to me as this film skidded to an end.
Continue reading: If You Were Young: Rage Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.