6.9/10
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6 user 18 critic

Japanese Summer: Double Suicide (1967)

Muri shinjû: Nihon no natsu (original title)
Over the course of a night, a sex-obsessed young woman, a suicidal man, and a gun-crazy wannabe gangster are taken prisoner of a gang awaiting a shootout between a rival gang at dawn.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Keiko Sakurai ...
Nejiko
Kei Satô ...
Otoko
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tetsuo Ashida ...
Himeji
Yoshiyuki Fukuda
Hideo Kanze
Hôsei Komatsu
Shunsuke Mizoguchi ...
Tsukibito
Bunya Ozawa ...
Matsuyama
Masakazu Tamura
Taiji Tonoyama
Rokkô Toura ...
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Storyline

Over the course of a night, a sex-obsessed young woman, a suicidal man, and a gun-crazy wannabe gangster are taken prisoner of a gang awaiting a shootout between a rival gang at dawn.

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Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

2 September 1967 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Die Nacht des Mörders  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
like a surreal bottle-keg about to explode
13 December 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A film sometimes will stay with you for an inexplicable reason. This time, it's not so hard to figure out - Nagisa Oshima decided to make a film that is not too long, maybe 90 minutes or so (I forget the exact running time), set most of it in one location, and make it about how human nature is just really, really strange sometimes. Especially in Japan. Now, contrary to what the title says, it's not really a film about suicide, at least not fully. One of the main characters IS fascinated by wanting to off himself, and keeps on trying to find a way to do it. And he's accompanied by a young 18 year old woman who is quite aroused and wants to get her rocks off with another man. Then there is the other guy who is just really hyped up on guns.

But what is the movie about? Well, I'm still not sure if it has an exact narrative that can be seen as A-B-and-C straight through. It's more in line with something like the Exterminating Angel, as close as I can figure, as it's about how the suicide guy and horny girl are walking along one night (he her boyfriend, sorta), and they get caught up in a hide-out where a bunch of men are paranoid about a war starting, or some kind of attack. And their fears are amped up by reports on the news of a white-American gunman taking out people at random. There is a lock-down, but the people in this big gray hangar could leave whenever they want. But things keep on happening to keep them there...

It's maybe a film that most pointedly and wonderfully looks at male frustration and nihilism, with this one girl who keeps trying to have something with a man (and failing, not for lack of being attractive but just because the men are pre-occupied with their "guns" so to speak), and paranoia in general. I loved the atmosphere of everything in this one place, as the people are there and they don't leave, at least until the last fifteen minutes or so. When they do leave, Oshima makes some real suspense and action, but not how one would expect. It's technically a thriller, but everything is underlying, and the suspense isn't for the when but how things will happen. I loved it, but it's definitely an acquired taste.


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