Japan 1988 90 min
Feature 35 mm
Japanese with English subtitles
Programme: Asian Expressions
The story is a hypnotizing narrative that is both deceptively simple
and full of mystery. Set in a boys' school in a remote, beautiful
area of Japan, Summer Vacation: 1999 tells the story of four teenage
students who spend their summer vacation at school, unsupervised and
untouched by the outside world.
the story begins, one of the students, Yu, has taken his own life
by jumping off the cliff because of his unrequited love for the
exquisitely beautiful Kazuhike, who is also loved by another boy,
Naeto. Just as the shock of the suicide finally starts to subside,
the boys are unpleasantly surprised by the coming of a new student
who looks strikingly similar to their dead fellow student Yu.
Vacation: 1999 is based on a Shojó Manga, a popular genre
of comics for mainly straight girls. A recurrent theme in this manga
is the ideal depiction of gay love between bishònen (beautiful
boys). In the 70's, this resulted in a series of homosexual love
stories set in boys' schools. Director Shusuke Kaneko cast actresses
to play the parts of all four boys to emphasize this particular
phenomenon in Japanese popular culture.