MARUYAMA, THE MIDDLE SCHOOLER
Directed by Kankuro Kudo
Official Selection, 2013 Fantastic Fest
Official Selection, 2013 Udine Far East Film Festival
Katsuya Maruyama is a boy with a dream. A dream, that if realized, would change his world. This dream? To lick his own wiener. And so he stretches, puts in extra time in PE class, and when the moment is right, makes the attempt, sparking off amazing fantasies of naked young girls fawning over their puberty-in-process hero. Maruyama has to avoid at all costs his boring family, so enter neighbor Tatsuo Shimoi (Tsuyoshi Kusanagi of J-pop group SMAP), who may hold the key to success.
MARUYAMA, THE MIDDLE SCHOOLER shows us that sometimes, lustful, obscene thoughts can be a beautiful thing. A young boy’s hormonal changes, and the adventures that result from his personal “growth,” are what adolescence is all about. The film brings a level-headed sense of reality to the teenage experience – one full of irreverence and colorful characters – that is at once beautiful, perverse, hilarious, innocent, adulterous, and all-together brilliant.
With a cast that includes even J-pop and K-drama stars (think Nice Guy), MARUYAMA raises self-copulation to Olympian levels and, in the process, makes us all dreamers and winners. –Phillip Lorenzo