The Young Rebel

Also known as The Bastard, this is a campy 1963 black-and-white Japanese period drama and tragic love story about a teenage delinquent who wants to be a pulp writer (and is inspired by a Strindberg novel). It’s the first film made by B-movie mannerist Seijun Suzuki in collaboration with art director Takeo Kimura, and some of the lighting schemes are exquisite, even if the low-budget production values often call to mind Samuel Fuller’s period pictures (e.g.,Park Row). It’s hard to know how seriously to take the eccentric script construction, in which, for example, the only offscreen narration, very soap-operaish in style, occurs at the very end. With Ken Yamanouchi and Masako Izumi. (JR)

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