White-collar worker Yamashita finds out that his wife has a lover visiting her when he's away, suddenly returns home and kills her. After eight years in prison, he returns to live in a ... See full summary »
Produced at the height of the Vietnam War, Emile de Antonio's Oscar-nominated 1968 documentary chronicles the war's historical roots. With palpable outrage, De Antonio (Point of Order, ... See full summary »
Emile de Antonio
Harry S. Ashmore,
In a small village in a valley everyone who reaches the age of 70 must leave the village and go to a certain mountain top to die. If anyone should refuse he or she would disgrace their ... See full summary »
At the beginning of the film the father-in-law of the protagonist dies unexpectedly of a heart attack. The remainder of the film is episodic, moving from one incident to another over the ... See full summary »
In Okayama in the mid-1930s, Kiroku attends high school and boards with a Catholic family whose daughter, Michiko, captures his heart. He must, however, hide his ardor and other aspects of ... See full summary »
Ryoko Itakura is a government tax agent who has just landed a big promotion. Her first assignment is to catch wheeler-dealer Hideki Gondo. She has a tough job, since in Japan tax evasion is... See full summary »
Being a faithful 'company man', Yoshikawa moves steadily ahead within the Toho corporation. But Kaji, his old friend, makes his way through the dark side of the social world, working for a ... See full summary »
While many directors work hard to maintain the illusion of the silver screen as a self-contained world unto itself, Imamura not only films what is a essentially a fiction film disguised as a documentary but debunks it several times along the way. A MAN VANISHES pretends to be a documentary about a man named Tadashi Oshima who suddenly vanished two years ago without a trace, a popular habit with disgruntled Japanese office workers (Imamura reports 91,000 Japanese were reported missing that year - again, fact or fiction?), which in reality is a film essay that masquerades as a documentary to make and prove its point, and to make that point (that absolute truth coming from a subjective observer is impossible and that by extension how can we trust our senses to tell us what is real from what is not) it has to debunk its own status as a documentary.
The problem with the film is that the plot becomes entangled in the drudgery of the characters' lives as they try to separate truth from fabrication to discover what really happened to Tadashi. After a pre-ending, which if Jodorowsky didn't rip off wholesale for the ending of his HOLY MOUNTAIN then let's just say it's a stroke of absurd coincidence, it goes on for another 15 minutes in a redundant scene where the argument between two sisters and an eye-witness who allegedly saw Tadashi with one of the sisters two years back continues unabated in the middle of a crowded street, while Imamura is keen to remind us again that it's a dramatized version we're watching. You can almost feel him chuckling gleefully "Doesn't it look so real?" (and it does), "well, it isn't!". Right down to the ending that recalls the film-within-a-film device of the ending of his previous film THE PORNOGRAPHERS, A Man Vanishes remains an interesting film essay, a great pseudo-documentary, but not a very good film.
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