IMDb > Japanese Summer: Double Suicide (1967)

Japanese Summer: Double Suicide (1967) More at IMDbPro »Muri shinjû: Nihon no natsu (original title)


Overview

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7.0/10   326 votes »
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Release Date:
2 September 1967 (Japan) See more »
Genre:
User Reviews:
Solid Shadows with Conflicting Death Wishes See more (4 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
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
Rokko Toura ... Television
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Directed by
Nagisa Ôshima 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Mamoru Sasaki 
Tsutomu Tamura  (as Takeshi Tamura)
Nagisa Ôshima 

Produced by
Masayuki Nakajima .... producer
Takuji Yamaguchi .... producer
 
Original Music by
Hikaru Hayashi 
 
Cinematography by
Yasuhiro Yoshioka 
 
Film Editing by
Keiichi Uraoka 
 
Art Direction by
Shigemasa Toda 
 
Sound Department
Hideo Nishizaki .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Takeji Sano .... gaffer
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Muri shinjû: Nihon no natsu" - Japan (original title)
"Japanese Summer: Unreasonable Double Suicide" - International (English title) (literal English title)
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Runtime:
98 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Company:

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18 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
Solid Shadows with Conflicting Death Wishes, 26 July 2010
Author: tedg (tedg@FilmsFolded.com) from Virginia Beach

I know a few of this man's films. They are among the richest experiences I know, but I was surprised at how deeply this one worked on me.

The surprise comes in part from knowing how specific his target audience was. I am the right generation but the wrong decade and culture. I recently encountered the effect with "Naisu no mori" which took some significant shifting on my part to put me in the right place.

Oshima is politically radical, violently iconoclastic and deeply critical of what he sees as a broken Japanese culture. In this film he targets sensibilities that would be hard for even Japanese viewers to understand today. I didn't even try, and simply relegated all the broken souls I saw to a generalized brokenness. Perhaps that makes the film better, because it allows us to experience the technique of the thing more directly.

The story doesn't matter except that it throws an eighteen year old girl with a "screw loose" in with a suicidal AWOL soldier and a group of ragtag gangsters. Some of the action takes place in an abandoned futuristic city, but the core of the film is in a bunker of some sort. It is a terrific set and one wonders how in the world many of the shots were made. Some of them pan the space, showing walls that could not have been there at the start of the shot.

It is a complex space, concrete, with sometimes deep, sometimes close walls that seem to change. The floors and ceilings have different heights. There are stone altar slabs with spring water coming from roughly hewn holes. Sometimes the walls and floors have handcarved human-shaped niches. The lighting always seems natural but the sources would be physically impossible. The space reminded me of Tarkovsky.

Oshima says he hates Ozu and Kurosawa, but the cameras of both clearly is used and extended here. The poses are formal, the movements of the eye architectural. This film was unknown to me until today, and it replaces Welles' Othello as my go to example of an architectural film. The characters are less people than they are active components of the space. Every action, every perception — ours and theirs — is spatially situated. I loved it. Mind you, this is in spite of missing the social commentary; some would think it was if I were watching a mimed Shakespearean play. But I think this film is in the eye, the space.

It is so extraordinary that I am giving it one of my coveted 4 ratings.

Ted's Evaluation -- 4 of 3: Every cineliterate person should experience this.

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