Rokudenashi, (Good-for-Nothing) (1960)





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Yoshishige Yoshida (aka Kiju Yoshida), one of the major filmmakers of the Japanese New Wave, made his directorial debut with this drama of lost and aimless youth. Jun (Masahiko Tsugawa) is a teenager from a poor family with few prospects and no clear idea of what to do with his life. Jun falls in with a band of troublemakers who commit petty crime, listen to loud music, play pranks on strangers and kill time by the ocean. Toshio (Yusuke Kawazu), the leader of the gang, is the son of a successful businessman, and partly out of boredom and partly in hopes of making a big score, he decides they should aim their criminal ambitions higher. Toshio and his friends try their hands at kidnapping, abducting a woman named Makino (Kakuko Chino) who works as a secretary for Toshio's father. Makino senses that Jun is more principled than his compatriots and a bond forms between them, but the kidnapping scheme seems to go wrong from the very start. Rokudenashi (aka Good For Nothing) was one of three films Yoshida would make within his first eighteen months as a director, along with Chi Wa Kawaiteru (aka Blood Is Dry) and Amai Yoru No Hate (aka Bitter End Of A Sweet Night). ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
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Audience Reviews for Rokudenashi, (Good-for-Nothing)

Kiju Yoshida's debut feature is nothing short of phenomenal. It's a slow placed, gorgeously shot exercise in nihilism featuring characters who seem to be constantly bored with life. A group of Japanese youth leech off of a rich kid and amuse themselves by playing pranks on the humorless female assistant of the rich kids dad. When one of the gang starts to fall for the assistant, he's got to struggle both to protect her from his friends and to maintain his carefree life.

Aaron Wittwer
Aaron Wittwer

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