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A BOY CALLED THIRD BASE

Japan, 1978 (MIFF 1980, Programme 15)

Director: Yoichi Higashi

Yoichi Higashi is a new name from Japan and his first feature to reach the West is a strong drama that signals him as a director to watch.

Third Base is made from a script by Shuji Terayama, the "enfant terrible" of Japanese art, film and theatre. It concerns Shinji Seno who is sent to a youth remand centre. We gradually learn of the events of his life that led to him being there, while his life in the antiseptic and clinical remand centre is revealed with considerable and remarkable detail. Not the least fascinating aspect is the panorama of adolescent sexual behaviour, dreams and fantasies.

This is a fascinating exploration of a young man's changing feelings about himself. Tony Rayns summed the film up for the London Festival programme as follows: "The spirit of Shuji Terayama is very present: he adapted the script from a popular novel and many of the superb cast are members of his theatre group Terysajiki. But Yoichi Higashi directs with more than enough ideas of his own."

Yoichi Higashi - Born 1934.

Feature films - Tender Japanese (1971), Satori (1973), A Boy Called Third Base (1978), No More Easy Going (1979)

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