Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 12th, 2004
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 1970
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Writers: Kinji Fukasaku, Koji Matsumoto, Takehiro Nakajima
Cast: Tetsuo Ishidate, Gin Maeda, Choichiro Kawarazaki, Hideki Hayashi
DVD Released: January 13th, 2004
Approximate Running Time: 89 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
DVD Release: Home Vision
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
A group of friends after landing in jail decide to save up all their money and buy garbage truck that will lead to financial prosperity. They dub the truck “Independence No. 1″ and through a series of misfortunes three of the friends have to pull out of the endeavor taking their financial stake in the business with them. Asao (Gin Maeda) and Kikuo (Tetsuo Ishidate) friends since an early age are the only two left to pursues the dream five friends had in that jail cell many years before. Will there friendship last long enough until they find the riches they desire or will bitterness rip their friendship apart?
Even when the world tries to cave in around them as their other friends succumb to pressures and circumstances that befall them. Kikuo and Asao friendship they have for each other keeps them more grounded as they keep the their goal. Fukasaku makes the characters in the film more grounded and realistic as he shows the characters flaws. The film moves at a brisk pace as Fukasaku shows us the growth of the two lead characters Kikuo and Asao two friends that hold on too their dream of this group of friends and they are also bound by the fact that both their fathers were coalminers died on the same day when the cave they were working in caved in. Kinji Fukasaku lets the story unfold through a series of flashback that at times end too soon and could have been more fleshed out. The films greatest strength lies in its story about youth and friendship. Fukasaku as usual fills the film with unusual compositions that are compounded by his jarring editing that perfectly captures the energy and rage associated with youth. If I Were Young Rage is one of the more unique films Kinji Fukasaku made during his career. It has the brutality of his later Yakuza films and the melodrama present in his early films like Black Rose Mansion and Blackmail is my Life.
Home Vision’s If You Were Young Rage DVD presents the film in an anamorphic widescreen that maintains the films original 2:35:1 scope aspect ratio. The films color palette of yellows, blues and greens are nicely saturated through out. The flesh tones are natural in appearance and grain is kept to a minimum. The source print is in very good shape considering the age of this film. There is only one audio option for this DVD release. The films original Japanese audio track is presented in a Dolby Digital mono. The track gets the job done and there is no sign of hiss or distortion. English subtitles have been included that are easy to read and follow.
The main extra on this DVD is an eight minute interview with Kinji Fukasaku before his untimely death in January 2003. Fukasaku is full of incite into the making of films and cinema in general. Other extras include Fukasaku’s filmography and liner notes written by Tom Mes. The films original trailer for what ever reason has not been included. Even though If You Were Young Rage isn’t as loaded as Home Vision’s other Fukasaku releases the extras included are very good. Overall Home Vision delivers another solid audio/video release with some detailed extras. If You Were Young Rage more then any film that I have seen so far from Kinji Fukasaku demonstrates his ability to tackle diverse subjects and inject them with a raw intensity that resonates through out all of his work.