A masterpiece of militant cinema of 1968, filmed on the actual barricades of Adachi's very own Nihon University during the period of social struggles. The film begins in a lengthy free-love... See full summary »
The insane gynecologist Dr. Marukido Sadao theorizes that a woman is unable to become pregnant if she is writhing in intense pain during intercourse. He sets about testing this new method of birth control by torturing women during sex.
During a suicide attack on an airport, the hand grenade of 'M', one of three terrorists, malfunctions and he is captured. Exposed to maltreatment in prison he slowly loses his grip on ... See full summary »
This was directed by the legendary Masao Adachi working along with students of Nihon University (Nihon University Film Study Club) as part of a non-hierarchical collective, with the director just one voice among many. This experimental film is deliberately over-lit and over-exposed making it difficult at times to discern what you're seeing. This gives the film an abstract quality that tips into a dreamlike surrealism at times. Taken in conjunction with the unnerving, dissonant sound design, this film reminded me quite a bit of the early films of David Lynch.
The Closed Vagina of the title supposedly represents the blocked the political stalemate of the Leftist student movement after their impressive mass radical protest movement of 1960 failed to prevent the renewal and ratification of the neo-imperialist Japan-US Joint Security Treaty (or Anpo Agreement). However, Adachi has subsequently insisted that the film was not designed to deliver such a one-dimensional political message and that its meaning should be more open to the interpretation of the viewer.
The plot loosely follows the travails of the female half of a male and female couple. The woman appears to have a disorder which causes her to have a sealed vagina. To be honest, beyond that the narrative is nearly impenetrable and it's probably just best to watch and be swept along by the visuals. Personally, I thought there might be some sort of proto-feminist statement buried within the film regarding the treatment of women, especially by the medical profession, in a world that views them as objects of either pleasure and/or reproduction. Anyway, you're take on this might be quite different, so just watch with an open mind and decide for yourself.
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