The Great Happiness Space: Tales of an Osaka Love Thief (4 stars)

  • 21 August 2006

This article is from 2006.

(Jake Clennell, US, 2006) 75min

The thief in question in Clennell’s documentary film is Issei, the nightclub host in hedonistic boy bar Rakkyo. And by ‘boy bar’, I mean a bar where Issei’s young men and himself are listed on the menu, next to pints of Asahi and $500 bottles of champers. Glamorous booted and suited young men are available for young women by the hour. For $5000 these women can be told that they are beautiful, special and that Issei and his band of lost boys are utterly in love with them. Thankfully, skimming over the peculiarities of Japanese culture, the film quickly develops into a revealing study of the unmet desires and the sexless malaise of youth (Japanese or otherwise). Also the carefully sculpted twist in the middle propels a cast of surprisingly reflective youths to take stock of their occupations, while one only hopes that they will take their own advice upon seeing this remarkable portrait. (Isla Leaver-Yap)

Filmhouse, 623 8030, 25 Aug, 8.15pm & 26 Aug, 3.15pm, £7.95 (£5.20).

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