THROW AWAY YOUR BOOKS, RALLY IN THE STREETS
Director: Shūji Terayama Run Time: 137 min. Release Year: 1971 Language: Japanese
Starring: Fudeko Tanaka, Hideaki Sasaki, Masahiro Saito, Sei Hiraizumi, Yukiko Kobayashi
Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets!” is Terayama’s adaptation of Terayma’s eponymous book and play. A metaphor for Japan’s descent into materialism, it follows a young man’s disillusionment with the world around him and his determination to achieve something in life while his family members are content with their poor social and economic standing. It was Terayama’s first feature-length film.
“Terayama wants us to think about film itself through the incisive and critical application of experimental technique. What can film do when it has a clear ideology? What can film do when it is clearly didactic? What can film do when it is unbeholden to appeasement? Film can become useful, it can question its own medium, it can cross over into the real world, it can lead to meaningful change. This is a film that doesn’t hate film, but hates what materialism has done to film and film watchers and works at every opportunity to shatter that conception.
This is also a film that feels increasingly relevant even over forty years after its release. At the risk of sounding laughably over-reductionist, the ways in which technology has expanded into our lives has become alarming. Obviously some of this is good, to believe otherwise is naïve, but so much more of technology itself is to prevent us from rallying in the streets. Technology, or more-accurately the creators of certain technology, does not have our best interests at heart and is created to keep us reliant on technology. Social media manipulating our emotions to constantly engage with it; video-games utilizing addictive designs to get us to spend far more of our time and money on them; the ‘franchise-ation’ of works to metamorphose from medium to lifestyles that ask us to invest our very identity into such works; media and technology become grotesque techno-vampires of human life when an ideology of late-capitalism is applied and it’s paradoxically easier to give in to them when they promise relief from the other horrors of late-capitalism. Throw it all away.” reibureibu, letterboxd