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.
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