Thomas Dylan Eaton

  • film October 28, 2011

    Trains of Thought

    “THIS LOVE OF DROPPING OUT is not going to be possible in every era,” observed Terayama Shûji, the charismatic voice of Japanese youth, in 1967. He was critiquing a return to “primordial society” embodied by the futen-zoku, the so-called “idle tribe” who gathered, sedated on sleeping pills, in front of that quintessential example of busy modernity, Tokyo’s train station Shinjuku-eki.

    In that era, Shinjuku was contested ground in the battle between Japan’s cultural and political radicals and the pragmatic, materialistic society that emerged in the wake of what amounted to an economic miracle. This


    ICH WILL! (I WANT!) sounds like a call to arms for a children’s revolution. In the context of Hitler’s Boy Scouts, it asserts expectations of an inheritance no previous generation of German youth had ever dared demand. The title of avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger’s new work, which made its debut at the Donau Festival in Krems, Austria, this past spring, ICH WILL! appears superimposed on footage of a Hitlerjugend rally in Landsberg, Bavaria, in the late 1930s, and echoes the fiery letters heralding the demonic invocation in F. W. Murnau’s Faust (1926). The self-sacrificing pact between the