298 Great Directors: Yoshishige Yoshida

“You see, when someone is asked what defines French cinema, of course there is no answer: film is something made by an individual director. I believe that it is possible to make films according to one stylistic principle, of course, such as the Russian montage movement, or political or other manifestos can guide directors into making a specific brand of cinema. However, as for my own personal case is concerned, I cannot define my work under any one meta-title. I myself was first influenced heavily by pre-war films. I watched them as a kid, and then watching films after the war, I found that watching films as a teenager and then as an adult was an entirely different experience.”

Why This Director?
: Someone called it their #1 film on a list of 3000+.

My Last Experience Was…: Nah.

What Did I Watch: Eros + Massacre, which was a full meal in its own right.

Where Does He Fit: Eros Plus Massacre is one of the most terrifyingly dense films ever made, an awe inspiring 3 and a half hour portrait of collective memory rendered in monochrome tones that range from the inky blacks of the present interiors to the blown out whiteness of the natural world still having to cope with the capabilities of the atomic bomb looming over it at all times. I cannot claim to have done a perfect job keeping all of the characters straight but the writing was so crystal clear in embracing character voices that it became irrelevant. Yoshida’s focus is on the women despite using an anarchist as his center, with his wife and mistresses providing a confusing portrait for the present day student radicals who are going a bit mad in their own way. The framing may be a little showy at times, but it is immaculate, with objects making well sure that we can never truly gain entry into the mind of another human being due to how messy and individual we are, thus self obstructing. The marriages and relationships slowly fall apart, and so does time itself, with an ending that is jaw droppingly audacious in how it finally merges the separate lives.


Most Valuable Asset: Framing.
Most Excited For: Heroic Purgatory and Coup d’Etat, the other trilogy entries.

Coming Up Next: Great director of actresses, Xavier Dolan.

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