Plastics salesman Oshima disappeared without a word to anyone, and has been missing for two years. Shohei Imamura and his crew follow Oshima's fiancé Yoshie and actor Shigeru Tsuyuguchi as they investigate the disappearance.
Near the turbulent end of the Edo era, a man returning to Japan after exile in America searches for his wife and becomes swept up in the current of revolution in this incisive period drama from the great Shohei Imamura.
In a poor 19th century rural Japanese village, everyone who reaches the age of 70 has to climb a nearby mountain to die. An old woman is getting close to the cut-off age, and we follow her last days with her family.
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 his mill as World War II rages, and has a daughter. After an affair with a mill supervisor, Tome goes to Tokyo to seek her fortune. She leaves the child, Nobuko, in Chuji's care. Tome's a maid at a brothel, learns trade from the madam, enjoys the protection of a businessman whose mistress she becomes, and is soon herself the boss. As Chuji ages and Nobuko grows up with her own ideas, can Tome's self-preserving schemes provide continued comfort? Or will the mice scamper over her?Written by
Made directly after Pigs and Battleships, pretty much a furious diatribe against the occupying American forces, this has a wider aim of attack. Indeed this angry young man, at the forefront of the then Japanese New Wave, seems to take a swipe at everyone. He is, understandably, particularly cynical as regards the treatment of women but also of the way those women seem to not only accept their subservient position but help to perpetuate the horrors with their own connivence. As is so often the case with Japanese cinema, with so little knowledge of the cultural background it is difficult to fully appreciate what might be going on here. Certainly Imamura is still pushing against the old accepted ways of his country's cinema and with stop frames, screen titles and a rough and tumble technique that flies in the face of tradition. Not an easy watch but there is enough here with a time span that traverses the first half of the 20th century from the First World War to the confusion of Korea.
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