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 »
A young man has an affair with an older woman. He is very jealous of her husband and decides that they should kill him. One night, after the husband had plenty of sake to drink and was in ... See full summary »
Set during Japan's Shogun era, this film looks at life in a samurai compound where young warriors are trained in swordfighting. A number of interpersonal conflicts are brewing in the ... See full summary »
Thomas Jerome Newton is a humanoid alien who comes to Earth to get water for his dying planet. He starts a high technology company to get the billions of dollars he needs to build a return ... See full summary »
Kiyoshi is a brooding young man who treats women solely as objects. Makoto is a young woman who is just reaching her sexual awakening. She and her friends accept car rides from middle aged ... See full summary »
After World War I, a war hero returns to Berlin to find that there's no place for him--he has no skills other than what he learned in the army, and can only find menial, low-paying jobs. He decides to become a gigolo to lonely rich women.
A musical adaptation of Colin MacInnes' novel about life in late 1950s London. Nineteen-year-old photographer Colin is hopelessly in love with model Crepe Suzette, but her relationships are... See full summary »
A metaphysical mystery involving a university student's camera getting stolen, and the thief then committing suicide. Looking back upon the event, the situation comes to be questioned if it happened at all.
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 cowards when they chose to surrender instead of committing suicide. One of the prisoners, interpreter John Lawrence, tries to explain the Japanese way of thinking, but is considered a traitor. Written by
Both characters, Lawrence and Celliers, are based on the author Laurens Van der Post who spoke Japanese and was forced to surrender during a Special Forces mission in Java. Van der Post even used the English version of his given name for one character's family name. See more »
In the final scene in the prison cell, the cross belt of Lt Col Lawrence's Sam Browne is fitted back to front. See more »
Loosely based on Lauren's van Der Post's trilogy 'The Seed and The Sower', Nagisa Oshima's English language film (1983) is set on the island of Java in 1942 (during World War II).
Written by Paul Mayersberg and the director, this film explores the situation of English prisoners of war held by the Japanese on the remote island of Java, offshore of Indonesia, and their Japanese captors.
In particular, it tells the story of Colonel John Lawrence (Tom Conti)
a man like Laurens van Der Post - who has a deep understanding of
Japanese culture, but is incarcerated like all the others. A powerful mediator between the English and the Japanese, John Lawrence helps the audience to understand this violent and often perplexing behaviour of their captors.
Captain Yonoi (Ryuchi Sakamoto) shows us the honest, understanding and straightforward face of the educated Japanese officer in these difficult circumstances. Sergeant Gengo Hara (Takeshi Kitano) helps us to understand the rather formal, misguided, traditional non-commissioned officer whose parallel is our own 'Sergeant Major' or 'Drill Sergeant'.
The crisis of cross-cultural understanding is heralded by the arrival of a British soldier who inadvertently conforms to the Japanese ideal of heroism - Major Jack Selliers (David Bowie). In Selliers, even Captain Yonoi, has to sit up and take notice. A very British sense of 'fair play' is somehow paradoxically engendered.
It's not hard to ignore the obvious pop stars, in this great film whose sweep and focus leads us inexorably to confront the painful conflicts of our parents or grandparents, because we cannot help but feel the keen emotions evoked by it.
How hard it is to bear the merciless execution of the violent Sgt Hara, when we truly understand how meekly he accepts it and why.
And what great good fortune that Ryuchi Sakamoto could have written such a haunting musical theme to the movie.. while he was only getting paid for acting !
33 of 37 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?