[Oshima] is perhaps the film-maker most actively concerned with the political and social implications of [the] upheaval in Japanese life during the last twenty years or so; all his films centre on the experience of young people and their inability to come to terms with the prevailing values of society. Oshima's characters live out the tensions that exist not only in Japanese society, but in all capitalist societies, which makes him one of the most important directors to have emerged in the past decade….
[All Oshima's early work] falls within the teenage gangster genre, well-fitted for expressing his central preoccupations. In fact, all his films revolve around either a criminal way of life...
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