P.P. Rider

Shinji Sômai's first masterpiece.


P.P. Rider

An exuberant farce tinted with deep shades of melancholy and real violence, P.P. RIDER is an ode to the dreams of youth against authority. The film centers on three teens on a burlesque odyssey to rescue their kidnapped class bully from a gang of yakuza. En route they run afoul of some cops, befriend a motley former gangster, and experience the first seismic shocks of growing up. More immediately, the youngsters climb on things and jostle and fall down and sing and take up space, carried along less by the search for their classmate than by the sheer momentum of being young and alive. Director Shinji Sômai constantly invents astonishing new ways to capture their movements, including a mythic opening shot, which—according to legend—required the use of three cranes. Adapted from a comic strip-like scenario by Leonard and Chieko Schrader, it’s a film of unparalleled freedom, and a testament to Sômai's ability to inject his work with the potent marrow of life.

"My first experience of Shinji Sômai's films presented another distance. It was the distance between the actors and the camera, as I can clearly see now. [
P.P. Rider] made me perceive for the first time the presence of the camera in a film." - Ryusuke Hamaguchi

"The apogee of Shinji Sômai's style." - Bingham Bryant, The Brooklyn Rail

"The story follows summertime abandon to the extreme… Plot conventionality is sacrificed for pure, unadulterated feeling, and Shinji Sômai is well aware that younger generations are best equipped to embody such uninhibitedness." - Patrick Preziosi, MUBI Notebook
Not Rated
Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Repertory, Auteur Cinema
Shinji Sômai

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