Friday, September 12, 2014

EVERYTHING GOES WRONG (1960) - Seijun Suzuki


SPOILER ALERT: The title of this movie is also the last line of the film (or very close to it). Yes, it's THAT kind of movie, a jazzy juvenile delinquent picture that takes itself too seriously when it's not be-bopping casually to the latest pop tune. In other words, kind of like your average teenager.

This teenager, Jiro, happens to be haunted by his soldier father's death during the war and miffed that Mom's taken a new lover...a wealthy industrialist who made the same tanks that got Dad killed. So he does what any teen in these pictures would do. He acts out, steals cars, smokes, drinks, generally treats the young ladies in his life poorly, with a mixture of unbridled lust and out-of-the-blue contempt. Call it Kamikaze Without A Cause.

I'll admit, this is not one of my favorite Suzuki's. My attention drifted, though it's quite short. But it was interesting to see a director known for his irony and free-form existential style working in a more earnest and at times melodramatic format. Both actors playing the young lovers are quite likable though they try hard not to be. It gets better as it goes along but probably should have ended at a spot few minutes earlier (hint: it involves a car crash). The scene directly afterwards where the movie title is dropped like a lead anvil in the dialogue reeks suspiciously of a studio-mandated coda.

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