Blue Spring
Region 1 Edition

Starring: Ryuhei Matsuda and Hirofumi Arai
Artsmagic Ltd
RRP: US $24.95
ATU 004
Certificate: Not Rated
Available 27 July 2004

In their graduation year, the disaffected students turn their concrete box of a school into a backdrop against which to create their own version of society. The newly elected boss Kujo disdains all the rules, including those that have led to his election. Into this power vacuum, his scandalised friend and lieutenant Aoki enters with vicious intent. As graduation looms, the pupils study violence and death...

It has been a while but finally a film about one of the strangest parts of the Japanese culture has finally been released; their schools. Whether or not the schools in Japan are as the film portrays, it certainly makes for very entertaining viewing.

In other films, schools have been portrayed as merely buildings where not much teaching goes on, but gangs form. These gangs have their own leaders and a hierarchy system similar to an army. So when a film like this comes along, where the school forms its own society, it isn't entirely unbelievable.

The acting Blue Spring is superb with strong performances all round. Couple this with a believable and sometimes scary storyline and you have a winning formula. Also, as with all Japanese cinema, there are plenty of calm and stormy moments; you can feel the tension radiate from your TV screen.

The extras on the DVD include a commentary by Artsmagic veteran Tom Mes, biographies and filmographies and an interview with the director. Yet again a nice package. If there are any complaints about this film then it would be directed at the failing of some of the tension to hit the right spot. But this is only occasional and is definitely forgivable.

All in all, it's definitely worth a look. It will give you some idea how the youth of Japan are struggling to find their place in the world. Plus this is a real life problem and if it's anything like this then all you can do is feel for them.

Simon Lee

Buy this item online
We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal!
(Please note all prices exclude P&P - although Streets Online charge a flat £1 fee regardless of the number of items ordered). Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

$17.47 (Amazon.com)

All prices correct at time of going to press.