The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, July 20-26

boxer

Boxer (1977)
Directed by Shûji Terayama
Bunta Sugawara (oozing machismo as ever) plays Rocky Balboa to Kentarô Shimizu’s Adonis Creed. The latter is a greenhorn looking for glory and asks the washed up ex-boxer to train him and his bum foot. Boxer has a familiar narrative, but spiced with Terayama’s bold aesthetic that includes tinted film stocks, flat graphic compositions, and frenzied mobile camerawork.

Terayama was a poet, playwright, novelist, filmmaker, and boxing buff. He even wrote commentary for the sport in his spare time. Boxing and horse racing taught more about life than school, he once said. Last year, a museum dedicated to Terayama opened in Japan, cementing his legacy, but in Europe and America, he is all but forgotten. Boxer sees the radical artist working for Toei Company. Terayama’s only mainstream film bends and warps generic conventions to fit his sensibility. Tanner Tafelski (July 23, 27, 10pm at the Spectacle)

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