Crazed Fruit (1956)

Yûjirô Ishihara, Masahiko Tsugawa, Mie Kitahara, Shinsuke Ashida,
Kurutta kajitsu is a movie starring Y?jir? Ishihara, Masahiko Tsugawa, and Mie Kitahara. Spending their summer on an exotic beach, two brothers fall for the same beautiful girl, whose charm and looks may hide more than they they...
  • 7.3 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Shintarô Ishihara, Writer:
  • Kô Nakahira, Director:
  • Takiko Mizunoe, Producer:
10 / 10

Crazed Fruit

Ko Nakahira's Crazed Fruit is, to put it mildly, an immensely welcome addition to the Criterion roster. It is uniquely modernist, impressionistically rendered, sensual in its physicality, and absolutely unlike anything to precede it in Japanese cinema. To put it bluntly, Ko's film is as significant a break from aesthetic (and moral) traditions as Godard's Breathless would prove to be two years later. The story ? nominally an attempt to cash in on the "sun tribe" fashion, whereby children of the wealthy would wile away their summers sun bathing and boating (an unthinkable luxury before the 1950s) ? follows the travails of two selfish and licentious brothers whose love of the same girl yields to hyperbolic tragedy of epic proportions. Whether the ending is meant as a conservative suggestion of the moral repercussions precipitated by the making idle of one's hands, or something more bleakly Sartrean, is up to interpretation. What is clear is that none who see it shall ever forget. An epochal masterpiece, based on a book by the current mayor of Tokyo!

9 / 10

bone chilling

This movie will fool you into thinking that its a story about something far more innocent that it actually is... im being vague so as to not give away any of the fun details. I don't know how to put it except to say that I really enjoyed the ride it took my heart on... first I was grinning stupidly at a tale of young love and by the end I had to pause for a moment to realize that my face was contorted in all sorts of disbelief and horror.... awesome!!!

One of the things I enjoy about this movie is that the true villains don't make much of an appearance. Its the character's own spoiled and frivolous lifestyles handed to them by their parents and sexual exploitation by foreigners that ruin these characters long before they ruin each other.

When the mother says, "don't hang out with your brother and his friends, they are horrible brutes etc etc" to which the boy replies "well,you raised him." In the movie this was a joke, and the characters allhad a nice chuckle... but that was the most serious point the story conveyed - the capitalist dream imploding - cuz lets face it, if you have everything you want, you're probably going to be bored and miserable.

In the same way, the very young very beautiful Hari marries the old white curr for his money, but realizes she's lost the most important thing, something priceless, her childhood innocence.

In my interpretation, its not the evil within these characters that leads to their undoing, its the evil they were subjected to. I want to believe there's good in them, and the actors do a brilliant job of keeping us wondering and uncertain about that because of the extremely nuanced and balanced performances.

The actors who play the brothers are brilliant, the younger especially, who has a very understated but creepy air about him...

In the end, all i can say is "bone chilling!!!" haha... watch it.

8 / 10

Movie that spawned a generation of culture

This is the first movie I've seen starring Yujiro Ishihara. I've heard something about the culture him and his brother Shintaro represented in the '50s, but it was way before my time, and I had no idea what this cultural phenomena was about in the '50s Japan. It's nice to find that Criterion Collection have revived this masterpiece.

Writer of this movie - Shintaro Ishihara made his debut as a writer with the novel "Season of the Sun" which described the decadent lifestyle of the affluent youth of Japan a year before this movie was made. The youth culture depicted in this novel was called "Sun Tribe", and in this movie Haruji (Masahiko Tsugawa) has a line where he describes his older brother and friends "They call folks like you the Sun Tribe.". Shintaro's younger brother Yujiro Ishihara plays the role of Haruji's elder brother Natsuhisa in this movie.

Basically, it's about the culture of the affluent set in Japan, but the genius of Shintaro Ishihara was that he already saw through the facade of shallow life style such living can bring and put it down in a novel which was both entertaining, and with style no one had written previously. Such an awesome insight from a person who is still in his early 20s.

The casting of this movie reads like who's who of young actors who went on to support mainstream Japanese cinema, and TV dramas for the next 20 years. This movie is also the debut movie for actor Masahiko Tsugawa who we see frequently in today's movie from Japan. He was called in by Shintaro after Shintaro spotted him at a wedding. Shintaro described that Tsugawa left an indelible impression on him when he first saw him.

Not too many people can stay in forefront of society for over 50 years influencing the course of that society, but Shintaro Ishihara has done just that as he is the present mayor of Tokyo.

Actress Mie Kitahara who played Eri, and Yujiro Ishihara marries four years later, this movie bringing the two together.

I've heard that Shintaro was abolished for writing decadent lifestyle of youth when his first novel Taiyo no Kisetsu (also made into movie in '56) came out, but actually I think this is a movie all youth should see as a warning not to indulge in this type of behavior, as it was the point with Shintaro's writing as well. This movie is written masterfully with all the critical points placed in its right place.

If you watch this movie without the background information of Japan in the '50s, it may appear as few spoiled kids having a wild time, but the true insight of this movie goes much deeper than that. Highly recommended.

8 / 10

Japanese version of the Beatniks

I was curious about this movie when I first heard about it, but I was not sure what to expect. Thankfully this movie is a bag of chips, with dip and beer.

The movie revolves around the exploits of well to do Japanese teenagers (possibly early 20's), in post WWII Japan. We mostly follow around two brothers, Natsuhisa and Haruji. They go off to the coast where they hang out with friends, water ski, swim, sail, drink, smoke, go clubbing, get into fights and play a game where they try to pick up as many women as possible. They don't have any responsibility and mostly just lie around, complaining about how there's nothing interesting to do. Just like in the Beatniks they are out looking for thrills.

The conflict in the movie arises from Haruji (the younger brother). Out of the group, Haruji is the youngest and most naive. He meets a beautiful girl, Eri and brings her to one of their parties. She catches the eye of Haruji's older and more "experienced" brother, Natsuhisa. Thus the triangular conflict is set and ready to go.

The movie is quite graphic, considering this movie was made in 1956. In the same way the Beatniks (and other similar period movies) depicted disenchanted and "sinful" teenagers in the US, Crazed Fruit does the same for Japan.

The final scene of the movie is a classic, worthwhile and carnal. I highly recommend this movie.

-Celluloid Rehab

8 / 10

A Pioneering Film

This film is about a bunch of young men who live the good life (none have jobs, but they have money) in post-war Japan. The film focuses on two brothers and their mutual affection for a young lady named Eri. I don't blame them for being infatuated with her, she is next to beautiful. First its the younger brother Haruji who is able to woo her. Then the older brother Natsuhisa goes for her, out of both desire and jealousy. Eri turns out to be married to an American who spends very little time with her, so she is able to be involved in these affairs. Although this may seem a bit tame now, it was a scandalous film in 1956. It ushered in a Japanese new wave, or it at least suggested one was imminent. The film becomes better with time, as you focus on the love triangle. The actors and Mie Kitahara, who plays Eri, are all convincing. The DVD has commentary from Donald Richie, who is an authority on Japanese film. Again, risqué for the time, tame now (but so is "Rebel Without A Cause" and thats a great film), it is definitely worth your time.