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Go Go Second Time Virgin
[Yuke yuke nidome no shojo]

Genre: Dismal Tale of Primitive Morality

review in one breath

Go Go Second Time Virgin is a rather dismal tale of primitive morality in the face of degradation, humiliation and abuse. The title is based on a defiant poem consistently recited by Poppo, one of the main characters. Similarly, the movies theme song is based on a forlorn song of loneliness and resignation sung by the other main character, Tsukio, at a crucial moment in the film. The story revolves around both characters' befriendment and subsequent attempts to deal with their traumatic past and present.



Boy
[Shonen / Shounen]

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Genre: Social Commentary on the Tragic Failings of Traditional Authority

review in one breath

A self-centered and uncaring father forces his wife and young son to fake being hit by passing cars in order to extort large sums of money from drivers. The increasingly violent authority of the father over the family, and their growing unwillingness to participate in his fraud leads them all on a downward spiral both physically and psychologically. This film is directed by renowned "new wave" director Oshima Nagisa and provides a stark vision of the tragic impact of child neglect and the failure of traditional authority structures.



Inferno of First Love (aka Nanami First Love)
[Hatsukoi Jigokuhen]

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Genre: Grim Clash Between Youthful Freedom and Societal Machinations

review in one breath

Two adolescent youth come together in their first attempt at intimacy, only to find that their complex individual histories and situations have created an obstacle to their goal. This is a seminal and exemplar film in the New Wave genre of 1960s Japanese cinema, directed by Hani Susumu who is generally credited with revitalizing Japanese modern film.



Pale Flower
[Kawaita Hana]

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Genre: Bleak Yakuza Tale

review in one breath

After three years in prison for killing a rival yakuza leader, Muraki is released back into his old haunts to find little has changed. There is, however, one new face in the crowd, Saeko, a young and beautiful woman who seems hell-bent on thrill seeking. Together, Muraki introduces her to increasingly high-stake scenarios until they both soon find themselves on the brink of self-destruction. Based on the novel by Ishihara Shintaro, this film will have significant influence over the subsequent formation of the yakuza genre.


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