Director: Susumu Hani
European Sales: Xenix Filmdistribution
Japan 1968, 1 h 48, version: Jap/df
35mm, 1:1.37, b/w
With Akio Takahashi, Kuniko Shii
What sounds so romantic, 'first love', turns out to be traumatic and 'infernal'. Two teenagers, Nanami, a charming and self-confident country girl, and a shy boy, Shun, are on their way to a love hotel. Their first intimate encounter is, however, not the launch of an uncomplicated romance. After some embarassed forplay they realize that they have to get to know each other first. As they go back in time unraveling their personal histories, a tender 'first love' begins to blossom.
Director Hani Susumu explores the stories of his two protagonists in a highly innovative and idiosyncratic visual and narrative style that has stood the test of time and comes across as fresh and powerful. Whether a lyrical recall of childhood memories, a tasteful approach to a taboo topic, an unvoyeuristic rendition of first intimacies or the lust of the commercial sex spectator, Hani's vision is of both real and surreal mastery.
See: KANOJO TO KARE