Cruel Story of Youth – An introduction to the Japanese New Wave

The Japanese New Wave of the sixties is one of the most difficult movements in cinema to discuss if you’re attempting to pin down a particular group of filmmakers, or even a specific time frame.

This was definitely not the work of a group of determined individuals focused on creating a movement, there was no manifesto, and many of those involved deny that any such movement existed. On the other hand, when one surveys the cinema of Japan from the early fifties until the early seventies there is a very identifiable shift. It’s what could conservatively be called a gradual sea-change, or perhaps more generously, a bona fide New Wave.

This somewhat amorphous movement is nonetheless a fascinating insight into a specific period of Japanese cinematic history. Not only this, but it also provides us with way to contextualise the preceding years just was well as we might measure how its influence rippled into the following decade. Continue reading “Cruel Story of Youth – An introduction to the Japanese New Wave”