Susumu Hani blurs the line between fiction and documentary in his feature film debut. Bad Boys depicts the disaffected lives of “sun tribe” delinquents (similar to US “greasers”). Filmed in a dispassionate cinema-vérité style, Bad Boys chronicles the militaristic daily routines of reform school life with little sense of release or salvation (both for inmates and audience). Relief from the grind is found through occasional triumphs of collective action, which point to Hani’s Marxist credentials, and in avant-garde musical pioneer Tōru Takemitsu’s aching score.
Bad Boys is paired here with Kioto Aoki’s Studio Sunrise: a reflected self-portrait imitating movements of the sun.
Special thanks to Iwanami Audio-Visual Media Inc. for facilitating this showing of Bad Boys, and to the Japan Foundation for the 35mm print.