Based on a true story set in pre-war Japan, a man and one of his servants begin a torrid affair. Their desire becomes a sexual obsession so strong that to intensify their ardor, they ... See full summary »
In 1942 British soldier Jack Celliers comes to a Japanese prison camp. The camp is run by Yonoi, who has a firm belief in discipline, honor and glory. In his view, the allied prisoners are ... See full summary »
Miyako Mizuki ((Mariko Okada), a wife and mother, becomes romantically involved with Kitano, her interior decorator. At first a simple flirtation, the relationship soon develops into a ... See full summary »
A bank robber is sentenced to prison for committing a murder during the robbery. His brother comes up with a plan to break him out of prison--but on the condition that his brother's girlfriend "date" him first.
Robert Walker Jr.
Amorality in Japan. Tome is born into poverty in rural Japan, in the late 1910s. Chuji, her father, dotes on her; her mother is less faithful. Tome becomes a neighbor's mistress, works at ... See full summary »
a Japanese high middle class clan after the 2nd world war
I have seen this film in the late eighties, together with other Oshima's movies and I could collect only a vague impression of exoticism. This before I visited Japan, where I currently live.
I have seen it again last night and I can confirm that "Gishiki" portrays some of the most specific aspects of the Japanese culture. It is a movie deeply ingrained with the rebellion against traditional culture and family, which is typical of the late sixties-early seventies, not only in Japan, but also in Europe. The same can be said of the use of sexuality as a powerful device to offset the established values.
The powerful Sakurada clan is brought to ruin by the same force that keeps it together, the powerful grandfather. This happens in a sequence of rigidly choreographed family reunions, in occasions of funerals and weddings spanning several years following the end of the world. In this sense the world of the Sakuradas is so traditional that many scenes could be set in medieval Japan, with minor modifications in the dialogs and costumes. Ritual suicides and uncompassioned sex are recurring estranging events which follow and precede these ceremonies.
At the end what has been taken away from the protagonist is his very childhood, and hence his possibility to exist as a human being.
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