The Man Who Put His Will on Film (1970)

Directed By – Nagisa Ôshima

Screenplay By – Masataka Hara & Mamoru Sasaki

Cinematography By – Tôichirô Narushima

Starring Kazuo Goto & Sukio Fukuoka

94 min.

It takes a bit of time to understand what’s going on with The Man Who Put His Will on Film but slowly but surely you start to pick up on it after awhile.

Another film that is part narrative part politics from Ôshima, but the narrative is highly interesting and creative and ultimately satisfying.

A worthy watch for anyone interested in blending experimental with narrative film, and for those who are interested in alternative filmmaking.

God Bless America

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Sing a Song of Sex (1967)

Directed By – Nagisa Ôshima

Screenplay By – Tsutomu Tamura, Mamoru Sasaki, Toshio Tajima & Nagisa Ôshima

Cinematography By – Akira Takada

Starring Ichirô Araki, Kazuko Tajima, Jûzû Itami & Akiko Koyama 

103 min.

If you and your friends imagined raping a girl you merely saw once, would you go track her down and tell her what you imagined? That’s what the main characters of Ôshima’s Sing a Song of Sex try and do.

As Ôshima gets more and more experimental with his form he still maintains the level of moral ambiguity that I have come to expect from one of his films. Sing a Song of Sex also slowly builds politically, until it ends full force on politics that I didn’t quite grasp during this first viewing.

After watching this movie, you too will be singing a song of sex.

God Bless America

Pleasures of the Flesh (1965)

Directed By – Nagisa Ôshima

Screenplay By – Nagisa Ôshima

Cinematography By – Akira Takada

Starring Katsuo Nakamura

104 min.

If you knew you were going to be killed in a year and had 30 million yen what would you do? Probably hire women for a million yen a month to live with you as your lovers.

Well that’s what Atsushi does. Pleasures of the Flesh is an exploration of what you can do with a lot of money, especially when the girl you love just got married.

Ôshima once again makes something that is both controversial and emotionally complex, leaving the audience in a state of moral ambiguity at all times.

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Empire of Passion (1978)

Directed By – Nagisa Ôshima

Screenplay By – Nagisa Ôshima

Cinematography By – Yoshio Miyajima

Starring Tatsuya Fuji & Kazuko Yoshiyuki

105 min.

Another powerhouse film by Nagisa Ôshima, Empire of Passion is a tale of adultery and the subsequent murder it leads to.

It is brilliantly acted and directed with Tatsuya Fuji having a captivating screen presence.

Definitely worth watching!

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Cruel Story of Youth (1960)

Directed By – Nagisa Ôshima

Screenplay By – Nagisa Ôshima

Cinematography By – Takashi Kawamata

Starring Miyuki Kuwano & Yûsuke Kawazu

96 min.

Before watching Cruel Story of Youth (aka Naked Youth) my friend told me it was the Japanese version of Rebel Without a Cause. After viewing, it’s a darn good comparison but it’s clear that Cruel Story is a much bleaker film. A much bleaker film.

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In the Realm of the Senses (1976)

Directed By – Nagisa Ôshima

Screenplay By – Nagisa Ôshima

Cinematography By – Hideo Itô

Starring Tatsuya Fuji & Eiko Matsuda

109 min.

I had no idea what this movie was when I started watching it but DAMN! WHOA! This shit is intense! Not only is it maybe the most beautifully shot soft core I’ve ever seen but it is an amazingly mesmerizing love(?!) story. In the Realm of the Senses will slowly take you deeper and darker into a relationship that’s as twisted and fucked as any relationship known to man. I AM NOT EXAGGERATING! And that is why this movie is phenomenal (which could also tell you a lot about me).

But seriously I wish more people (any people) would see this movie. I think we would all have way more to talk about.

God Bless America