Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Storm Front

Typhoon Club (1985) - Sômai Screen Shot 2023-06-07 at 8.37.57 AM Screen Shot 2023-06-07 at 8.52.50 AM Screen Shot 2023-06-07 at 8.55.24 AM Screen Shot 2023-06-07 at 9.26.13 AM Screen Shot 2023-06-07 at 9.54.17 AM Screen Shot 2023-06-07 at 10.12.03 AM Screen Shot 2023-06-07 at 10.14.36 AM Screen Shot 2023-06-07 at 10.44.03 AM Screen Shot 2023-06-07 at 10.21.22 AM Junior high school years are confusing times. It's on the edge of the adulthood- full of excitment and hopes yet extremely scary. Typhoon Club is an anti-coming-of-age movie. The film tracks a group of junior high students during a typhoon. They are just ordinary disaffected youths. They all have their flaws and issues. But why would anyone want to grow up if all the adults around them are stewing in their messy lives or absent altogether?

Two baseball players, Ken and Mikami are besties. Ken has issues at home and has trouble expressing himself to the girls - things always comes out wrong and he gets violent. Studious Mikami is feeling existential angst. Rie (baby Youki Kudoh), is anxious about losing Mikami after graduation and being stuck in small town and getting old. She runs away from home, where she shares with her invisible parents, to Tokyo on the eve of the tempest. The rest of them get marrooned in school after getting locked up unbeknownst the grownups. All the bottled up fear, angst, desire explodes with the torrential downpour, as they get to spend the night. All the inhibitions are gone, the wet, torn clothes fly off in the gym as they dance in the tune of Japanese rock, then out into the muddy fields.

Breakfast Club it ain't. There's no highlighting their individual quirks. They instinctly understand each other and forgive one another. Mikami screams on the phone to his unhelpful drunken teacher, "I will never be like you!" In the meantime, Rie's Homerian journey home during the typhoon continues. She gets picked up by a college students while shopping in Harajuku. He invites her to his apartment. It's not as exciting as she thought. After changing back to her school uniform, she decides to come back home.

Typhoon Club predates all the 90s and 2000s Japanese teen angst films. Somai really had a great eye for small details and intricacies of human relations. It's one of the best Japanese films ever made.

No comments:

Post a Comment