Vintage Pulp Oct 31 2011
TOKYO DRIFT
The young and the restless.

The Japanese crime drama Hadaka no Jukyu-sai, aka Live Today, Die Tomorrow, is the tale of an 18-year old country boy named Michio who is relocated to Tokyo for a work program and quickly rebels against the authoritarians around him. After going off the reservation he drifts into petty crime, which in turn leads to a shooting spree during which he murders several people. The movie seems to be critical of both Japanese city life and American influence (Michio acquires the gun by stealing it from an American), and we found it to be an interesting and engrossing fable. Later, we realized that the film was probably inspired by the real-life story of Norio Nagayama, a 19-year old who in 1969 shot four people dead with a gun he acquired from a U.S. military base. He was caught, tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. He had been in jail for about eighteen months when Hadaka no Jukyu-sai hit cinemas. No word on whether he saw it, but for some reason Nagayama was inspired to write, and by 1971 he was being published. He eventually wrote six books (with the profits going to compensate his victims’ families), and garnered critical acclaim as well as winning the New Japan Literary Award in 1984. After years of appeals and stays, Nagayama was executed in August 1997 and his ashes scattered in the sea. The movie he inspired is worth a look if you can find it anywhere, and the poster art is, well, killer. Hadaka no Jukyu-sai premiered in Japan today in 1970. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
December 14
1911—Team Reaches South Pole
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, along with his team Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel, and Oscar Wisting, becomes the first person to reach the South Pole. After a celebrated career, Amundsen eventually disappears in 1928 while returning from a search and rescue flight at the North Pole. His body is never found.
December 13
1944—Velez Commits Suicide
Mexican actress Lupe Velez, who was considered one of the great beauties of her day, commits suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills. In her note, Velez says she did it to avoid bringing shame on her unborn child by giving birth to him out of wedlock, but many Hollywood historians believe bipolar disorder was the actual cause. The event inspired a 1965 Andy Warhol film entitled Lupe.
1958—Gordo the Monkey Lost After Space Flight
After a fifteen minute flight into space on a Jupiter AM-13 rocket, a monkey named Gordo splashes down in the South Pacific but is lost after his capsule sinks. The incident sparks angry protests from the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, but NASA says animals are needed for such tests.
December 12
1968—Tallulah Bankhead Dies
American actress, talk show host, and party girl Tallulah Bankhead, who was fond of turning cartwheels in a dress without underwear and once made an entrance to a party without a stitch of clothing on, dies in St. Luke's Hospital in New York City of double pneumonia complicated by emphysema.
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