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Good for Nothing
(Roku de nashi)

Screening on Film
Directed by Kiju Yoshida.
With Masahiko Tsugawa, Hizuru Takachiho, Yusuke Kawazu.
Japan, 1960, 35mm, black & white, 88 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.
Print source: The Japan Foundation

Yoshida was propelled into the forefront of Shochiku's directorial ranks by his energetic first feature, a brisk and angry entry in the studio's highly popular cycle of taiyozoku films which focused, for the most part, on frustrated juvenile delinquents. Yoshida's original script is centered on a group of listless middle-class high school students whose fantasies of sex and violence exert an unhealthy hold upon their imagination. The stakes of the boys' depraved playacting rise dangerously, spiraling into a deadly roulette of crime and betrayal. A stylistically assured and striking debut film with overt nods to early Godard, Good for Nothing's dynamic black and white cinematography announced the non-conventional mise-en-scène and fluid, expressive camera movement which would become an important signature of Yoshida's later films.

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Art Cinema, Counter Cinema: The Cinema of Kiju Yoshida and Mariko Okada

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