Diary of a Shinjuku Thief

Watch Diary of a Shinjuku Thief

  • 1968
  • 1 hr 36 min
  • 6.2  (822)

The 1969 Japanese film Diary of a Shinjuku Thief follows the story of a young writer who takes up thievery as a profession in order to fuel his rebellious and creative spirit. Directed by Nagisa Oshima, the film stars Tadanori Yokoo, Rie Yokoyama, and Moichi Tanabe. The movie is set in Shinjuku, a bustling district in Tokyo known for its nightlife, entertainment, and red-light areas. The film opens with the protagonist, an unnamed writer played by Tadanori Yokoo, narrating his thoughts about his unfulfilled desires and his dwindling interest in conventional lifestyles. The writer is disillusioned with social norms and practices and yearns for something more liberating and meaningful.

One day, while wandering the streets of Shinjuku, the writer comes across a young woman named Sachiko (Rie Yokoyama), who is being chased by a group of men. He rescues her and eventually strikes up a conversation with her. Sachiko is a typist who works for a publishing company and is intrigued by the writer's unconventional ideas. The two of them form a bond and begin to explore the city together.

As they wander through the streets of Shinjuku, the writer explains his philosophy of life and his fascination with the concept of thievery. He argues that stealing is a liberating act that allows one to break free from society's constraints and live life on one's own terms. Sachiko is initially hesitant about his ideas, but she slowly begins to understand and appreciate his perspective.

The writer then introduces Sachiko to a group of like-minded individuals who share his philosophy. Together, they form a band of thieves who steal from wealthy businessmen and use the money to fund their creative endeavors. However, things take a darker turn when one of their heists goes wrong, and they are forced to confront the consequences of their actions.

Throughout the film, the writer's narration emphasizes the importance of living life authentically and pursuing one's desires to the fullest. The film is a bold exploration of rebellion, creativity, and social critique, and its themes are still relevant today.

The cinematography of the film is striking, capturing the vibrant and chaotic energy of Shinjuku. The use of handheld cameras and natural lighting immerses the viewer in the world of the characters, making the film feel raw and authentic.

Diary of a Shinjuku Thief is a seminal work of Japanese cinema and has been praised for its experimental style and political commentary. The film was controversial when it was released due to its portrayal of thievery and social critique, but it has since become a cult classic and a must-watch for fans of avant-garde cinema.

In conclusion, Diary of a Shinjuku Thief is a powerful film that explores themes of rebellion, creativity, and social critique. The film's use of experimental cinematography and its emphasis on authenticity and individuality make it a timeless classic.

Diary of a Shinjuku Thief
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 36 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.2  (822)