Battle Royale is about a group of teen-agers murdering each other in a gladiatorial contest. If that plot sounds familiar, just be aware that the film came out eight years before Suzanne Collins wrote The Hunger Games. Fukasaku’s epic has also been adapted from a best-selling novel, but tells an even darker and certainly more violent story. In present-day Japan, a law has been passed that requires the yearly selection of a ninth-grade class to be taken to a remote island where they will kill each other until a single survivor remains. In the current iteration, a trio of teens attempts to survive without resorting to violence. Against their gleefully murderous peers, their chances of success are slim. Surreal and blackly comic, with a memorably bizarre performance by Takeshi Kitano in one of the few adult roles, Battle Royale is bloody good entertainment bearing a plangent and admonitory message about today’s youth.
Showtimes: 2:00, 6:30 pm (Fri, Sun, Tues, Thurs);
4:30, 9:00 pm (Sat, Mon, Wed)
SF Film Society Cinema
1746 Post Street
Official Website: http://sffs.org/Exhibition/SF-Film-Society-Cinema/battle-royale.aspx
Added by cinesoul on July 11, 2012