15 January 2013 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Japanese film-maker best known for the sexually explicit In the Realm of the Senses and Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence, starring David Bowie

In a sense, it is unfortunate that the Japanese director Nagisa Oshima, who has died aged 80, was more infamous than famous, due to one film, In the Realm of the Senses (also known as Ai No Corrida, 1976). Although it was, for many, in the realms of pornography, the film was a serious treatment of the link between the political and the sexual, eroticism and death (previously dealt with in Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris), and a breakthrough in the representation of explicit sex in mainstream art cinema. Like Bertolucci, Oshima was held and acquitted on an obscenity charge.

Based on a true cause célèbre, In the Realm of the Senses tells of a married man and a geisha, who retreat from the militarist Japan of 1936 into a world of their own, »

- Ronald Bergan

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