Monday, February 4, 2013

Nagisa Oshima

It's several weeks late but I wanted to point everyone over an article about Nagisa Oshima written over on Slate by Dana Stevens.

Oshima who died several weeks ago should be mentioned along with Akira Kurasawa whenever you are talking about Japanese cinema. Specifically, Japanese New Wave (ヌーベルバーグ from the french nouvelle vague) or the difficult to define Pink Film genre.

In Realm of Senses, as discussed by Dana Stevens at Slate, was intentionally made to push the boundaries of Japanese censorship at the time, and several sections of the film had to be physically developed in France to avoid prosecution. Just a warning that this clip is NSFW.

But one of my first recollections of Japanese cinema was of David Bowie and Takeshi Kitano in Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence. I was possibly very young when I first glimpsed  as it seems to have entered my conscience at a young age. Although it wasn't until much later that I sat down and watch it.
Another film of Oshima's that I want to mention is 1999s Taboo staring Ryuhei Matsuda. It was Oshima's final film and deal with homo-eroticism of the very mail dominated world of the samurai. Brokeback Bushido?
These three films represent the later half of Oshima's career, a fearless director who wasn't afraid to push the boundaries, or more correctly, a director who intentionally push the boundaries of cinema.

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