Terayama Shuji 1935-1983
The Boxer (1977)
English subtitles [.srt]
Duration: 98 minutes
Filmmaker, theatre director, novelist, poet and sports commentator, the multifaceted Japanese film director, Terayama Shuji has had great influence on various fronts in contemporary Japan. The stunning, bizarre images in his films create a world of fantasy with many visions still looking novel to this present age.
Born in 1935 and passing away in 1983, Terayama enriched the art of the avant-garde and perspectives of modernity. He was very active in literature and art during his youth days in Aomori, his homeland. He established the internationally acclaimed theatre group Tenijo Sajiki in 1967, with famous productions including "Jashumon", "Shintokumaru" and "Mojin Shokan".
On the cinematic front, Terayama never stopped creating since his embarkation on experimental films in 1964. While his experimental and feature films intertwined to form an eerie, magical world of image, his films and dramas also echoed his favourite themes: triangular relationships inside big families, the nihility of memory and liberation. His works are a constant debate on hypocrisy of the truth and fabrication of the imagination.
His opulent life can most aptly be depicted by his renowned remark: "My occupation is being Terayama Shuji".
Terayama's passion with boxing is not only featured in his novels but he finally puts it into the film "The Boxer" (1977), his only commercial work.
In mid-career, while he is on a winning streak, and in the middle of a fight he is winning, a young boxer is revolted by the violence of the game. He allows himself to be beaten up and quits the match and the sport. He also leaves his wife and child and lives alone with his moth-eaten old dog, all the while losing his sight. Years later, he is hunted down by a young man who is ambitious to become a prize-winning boxer. Persistence pays off, and he eventually persuades the ex-boxer to be his manager and trainer. The boy begins his rise to success, though he has a stormy relationship with his manager.