Three Resurrected Drunkards

“I never make films in the same style,” Oshima wrote, and he proves it in this wildly color-splashed CinemaScope lark, rocket-fueled with the runaway teenage spirit of A Hard Day's Night and the anti-authoritarian, antiwar fury of 1968. Three Resurrected Drunkards follows three students (including Kazuhiko Kato from the influential Sadistic Mika Band) as they play war games (such as mimicking the infamous street-execution photo from the Vietnam War) along an empty beach, only to find their school uniforms stolen by Korean stowaways, who, in one of the film's multiple reality-versus-fantasy dialectics, are actually dodging the Vietnam War. The three then begin a chase that never ends, in which Japanese is Korean, Korean Japanese, and nothing is as it seems; when they get to one finish line, Oshima promptly “resurrects” the film again. Watching Three Resurrected Drunkards is like watching Frank Tashlin remake Oshima; commentary on Japan's war crimes, its anti-Korean prejudices, Vietnam, and sexual liberation is delivered in a stunningly inventive widescreen bubblegum palette.

Three Resurrected Drunkards is repeated on Thursday, June 25.

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