One of the most visionary and provocative filmmakers of his generation, the late Nagisa Oshima directed more than 20 groundbreaking features between 1959 and 1999 including In the Realm of the Senses and Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence.
Often regarded as the Breathless of the Japanese New Wave, Cruel Story of Youth as a portrait of rebellious youth set in the sleazy backstreets of Tokyo is still as raw and affecting as it was in 1963.
Miki and Alice are lovers, fighters and partners in crime. They operate a scam in which Alice lures middle-aged libertines into driving her home, then – once they make their moves on her – Miki appears and shakes them down.
Set against the background of the tumultuous 1960 US/Japan Security Treaty demonstrations, this doomed affair of living fast and dying young is a stylistically daring and provocative examination of hopelessness, apathy, exploitation and cultural alienation.
Fresh from screenings in Cannes Classics, the restored 4K print explodes onto the screen, its once faded colours now a heady retro rainbow.