Third Base (Saado)

The subject of Japan's aimless youth has been a regular preoccupation of writers, intellectuals and filmmakers over the last thirty years. Imai's Darkness At Noon (1956) and Hani's Bad Boys (1961) are included in the Critics' Choice series. Yoichi Higashi joins them with a film that expresses a deep concern for the problems of the disoriented young in a rapidly changing world.

Toshiyuki Nagashima plays a reform school inmate, third-base on the reformatory baseball team, hence his nickname “Third.” The series of events leading to his imprisonment are presented according to his own recollection of them, not chronologically, but as the random events of his prison life prompt his memory. The picture that emerges is of a young man groping for some meaning or purpose in life; in Higashi's baseball metaphor, he can't find home plate.

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