His name is Kujo (Ryuhei Matsuda), and he looks far too delicate and handsome to be a Japanese high-school gang leader, but I think that's the idea. Kujo and the rest of his buddies do things like dangle themselves backwards from the fence around the roof of the school to see who can hang there the longest without falling. Since Kujo manages to stick it out further than anyone else, he's automatically elected boss, and they strut through the graffiti-splattered corridors of their school, dealing with and doling out trouble in about equal measure.
This is the setup for Blue Spring, one of an ongoing tradition of Japanese films about violent, disaffected youth that border on romanticism. Takashi Miike's Fudoh comes to mind, although Blue Spring is nowhere nearly as over-the-top as that film; it's more deliberate and thoughtful, even in moments where teachers are being doused with water. The director, Toshiaki Toyoda, uses occasional dashes of attitude and posturing — like the too-cool rock music that streaks across the soundtrack every so often — but he's mostly content to let his story tell itself. It's a smart move. Read more