台風クラブDirected by Shinji Somai
Cast: Shigeru Kurebayashi, Yuichi Mikami, Yuka Onishi, Yuki Kudo
Grand Prix, 1985 Tokyo International Film Festival
New 4K restoration
It’s only Thursday, and nothing makes sense. A typhoon is looming. The girls are rowdy. The boys are restless. Everyone has gone mad as they wait out the storm in an emptied-out school with nary an adult in sight.
Kobayashi has a thing for guns. Rie hates confinement. Mikami asks big questions about life and the human species. Ken can’t control his animal urges. Some girls make out in the costume closet. They wrestle. They hurt each other. They dance. In the middle of banging windows and spiraling air, they fill suspended apocalyptic time with explosive and ordinary anarchies. And as the sun rises on a new day, TYPHOON CLUB builds to two vastly different endings that nobody saw coming – one as shocking as the other is hopeful, both looking with new eyes upon an utterly changed world.
Heralded as one of the greatest Japanese filmmakers of all time, Shinji Somai’s camera is cagey and raw, the action sweaty and utterly physical. There are long takes filled with intimacy, and shots blocked by chairs and doorframes, reminding us to stay in our lane. We are only spectators of this undomesticated night, one filled with euphoria, innocence, horror, psychedelia, and awe. Working with a cast of non-actors, including the debut of Yuki Kudo (Mystery Train; We Are Little Zombies), Somai’s cinematic DNA is now firmly embedded in Japanese cinema, influencing masters such as Beat Takeshi and Ryusuke Hamaguchi.
In his most seminal film, Somai’s overthrow of cinematic autopilot remains utterly fresh, his filmmaking grammar newly alchemized for a generation on the edge of their own specific wilderness.
– Christina Ree