Japanese title: SHO O SUTEYO MACHI E DEYO [Throw Away Your Books
and Go Out]
starring: Hideaki Sasaki · Akihiro Maruyama · Keiko Nitaka · Maki Asakawa
is the first feature film from director Shuji Terayama (preceded by
EXPERIMENTAL FILMS). In this one, he models the main character
after himself, a sexually frustrated teen who embraces cultural rebellion
after running away from his dysfunctional family. He gravitates to political
unrest and the call of a counterculture revolution by further rebelling
against the mainstream society. In his chaotic journey, he meets a wide
variety of strange people including a shoplifting grandmother and a
girl obsessed with rabbits.
As for the narrative itself, forget any linear plot. The
past is mingled with the present; reality and fantasy are part of the
same experience. Some critics praise the film as high art, while others
dismiss it as junk. However, Terayama's message is quite clear: Don't
watch this, experience life for yourself. Don't fill your head with
bullshit, challenge everything.
Terayama was a poet, playwright, novelist, artist and filmmaker. International
avant-garde art circles treat Mr Terayama like a god, but in the USA,
his work remains largely unknown. Mr Shuji Terayama died from Nephrotic
Syndrome, May 1983, at age 47. His experimental, radical vision continues
to live through motion pictures [EMPEROR
TOMATO KETCHUP, THE
TO THE ARK, et al] and through his writing.