135 Great Directors: Nagisa Oshima

“My hatred for Japanese cinema includes absolutely all of it.”


What Got This Director Here?
: Body of work, but mostly In the Realm of the Senses.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: N/A

What Did I Watch: In the Realm of the Senses.

Where Does He Fit: When you abbreviate In the Realm of the Senses, you get ITROTS. The world, appropriately, is not sustainable in this deliriously complicated allegory, which features near nonstop sex for 102 minutes, with all the “Fuck me!” dialogue that implies, and still manages to probe questions related to power and consent as they figure into Japan during the 1970s and World War II. The story of the penis being cut off is legendary, but what really sticks in this is the mood, a series of increasingly messy power struggles that start with a wealthy man fingering a girl and ends with her getting…a perverse revenge? The craziest form of consent? You cannot pinpoint it, and that is why it makes all porn look even uglier. Bonus points for the lighting and sets.

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Most Valuable Asset: Obscenity.
Most Excited For: Violence at Noon.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Off this alone, yes.

Coming Up Next: Ang Lee, Taiwanese expatriate.

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