196 Great Directors: Shohei Imamura

“I am interested in the relationship of the lower part of the human body and the lower part of the social structure on which the reality of daily Japanese life obstinately supports itself.”

What Got This Director Here?
: Body of work as a whole, but mostly Ballad of Narayama.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: N/A.

What Did I Watch: Pigs and Battleships.

Where Does He Fit: I actually think Pigs and Battleship’s tonal messiness works pretty well for it, with the odd blend of gangster film and comedy and whatever else is going on being handled fairly well on the formal level…with the exception of the performances. The cast is so terrible that I cannot take them seriously in their plight over a bunch of pigs and a pork farm that escalates neatly, with the stakes seeming higher each scene until we actively have the poor animals squealing away during a gunfight. Imamura’s clearly talented, I just hope he manages to get better actors in the future.


Most Valuable Asset: Precisely messy camerawork.
Most Excited For: Ballad of Narayama.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Need to see some of his later work.

Coming Up Next: John Schlesinger, hit in the 60s.


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