Saturday, 28 November 2015

Pastoral Hide-and-Seek

Revisiting Pastoral Hide-and-Seek, Shûji Terayama's second feature from 1974, and another one of the director's extraordinary meditations on youth, memory, and the revisiting and reinventing of one's own past. In the film, a director recreates his childhood on celluloid, albeit in a highly stylized form, his younger 15-year old self fantasizing about escaping from his nagging over-protective mother and running away with the beautiful madonna next door, or perhaps joining the oddball family from the nearby circus... A sleeker, more graceful film than Terayama's debut feature, Throw Away Your Books Let's Go Out Into the Streets, Pastoral Hide-and-Seek is one of the most poetic post-War Japanese films I've seen, the film is brimming over with astonishing surreal visuals - from gloomy Beckett-style landscapes to hallucinatory, acid-tinged carny life. And there's the director's fondness for cinematic trickery - including a wonderful disorienting break in the film around the 40min mark, as well as the ingenious final shot. The film also comes with terrific music by the great J.A. Seazer, who makes a brief appearance in the film...

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