Poll

What's your favorite film by Nagisa Oshima?

Ai to kib no machi (A Town of Love and Hope)
0 (0%)
Seishun zankoku monogatari (Cruel Story of Youth)
0 (0%)
Taiy no hakaba (The Sun's Burial)
0 (0%)
Nihon no yoru to kiri (Night and Fog in Japan)
0 (0%)
Etsuraku (Pleasures of the Flesh)
0 (0%)
Hakuch no torima (Violence at Noon)
0 (0%)
Nihon shunka-k (Sing a Song of Sex)
0 (0%)
Muri shinj: Nihon no natsu (Japanese Summer: Double Suicide)
0 (0%)
Koshikei (Death by Hanging)
3 (18.8%)
Kaette kita yopparai (Three Resurrected Drunkards)
1 (6.3%)
Shinjuku dorobo nikki (Diary of a Shinjuku Thief)
0 (0%)
Shnen (Boy)
0 (0%)
Tky sens sengo hiwa (He Died After the War)
1 (6.3%)
Gishiki (The Ceremony)
0 (0%)
Ai no korda (In the Realm of the Senses)
2 (12.5%)
Ai no borei (Empire of Passion)
0 (0%)
Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
4 (25%)
Max mon amour
0 (0%)
Gohatto (Taboo)
0 (0%)
other (specify)
0 (0%)
haven't seen any
5 (31.3%)
don't like any
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 16

Author Topic: Oshima Nagisa  (Read 2534 times)

1SO

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Re: Oshima Nagisa - Director's Best
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2015, 11:01:30 PM »
Death By Hanging (1968)
* * * - Good
Another beautiful mess made with great skill. Oshima tries to cover too many subjects using too many styles, and I'm not schooled up on Japanese/Korean tension to get it all, but he hangs his theology on a great surrealist idea. I could see todays bureaucracy getting similarly mired in a debate about when death begins, and can you prove the existence of a soul separate from proof of life? The first third of this is Oshima's best work. Where it starts to lose me is during the protracted role playing. Then things bust out into the world and I'm too distracted questioning what's reality. That doesn't mean the film loses its purpose and it remains a technically well-made piece. Just not as focused as it was, to the point where it appears to be overstaying its welcome. However, like the finale of Ikiru, I like the unique backroad the plot takes towards the end.
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1SO

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Re: Ōshima Nagisa
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2019, 09:54:10 PM »
Updated Rankings


Naked Youth (1960)
aka. Cruel Story of Youth
★ ★ ★ - Okay
Turning the Rebel Without a Cause on its head, Ōshima taps into something dark and primal. Bonnie and Clyde as a cautionary tale, where our young couples aching vulnerability is scabbed over by their cruelty towards others and themselves. One of those films like Goodfellas where the characters are fascinating, but never sympathetic. A product of their culture. Typical of the director, some scenes left me puzzled about what was intended, but there are a half-dozen ideas Ive never seen another director do with the staging of a scene. I also see influence on Romeo + Juliet and the pie scene in A Ghost Story, here involving an apple.


Sing a Song of Sex (1967)
★ ★
The experimental touches here more in line with Godard, throwing in things just to break up the narrative and be confrontational. I feel like Ōshima is being extra shallow to see if Ill still look at the material as deep. Also, his obsession with sex and transgression is so effective in the good films it becomes its own defense against calling the filmmaker sexist. However, when combined with lesser films, which also focus heavily on sexist characters, the line between presenting the material and believing it is harder to see.


Boy (1969)
★ ★
This seemed like a radical departure for Ōshima, but on reflection perhaps only the perspective has been changed. The adult couple is still destructively dysfunctional, but its told from the perspective of the oldest son, so the sexuality is removed. Youth brings optimism and hope, but the boy takes on the couples emotional and psychological abuse, so Ōshima as usual.


The Man Who Put His Will on Film (1970)
★ ★
I should've guessed Ōshima would have a puzzle box film in his catalogue. A meta-cinema puzzle with a narrative that continually twists inward on itself like Last Year at Marienbad, a deconstruction into the very meaning of cinema like 8 1/2 and pop culture and political commentary that's as shallow as it is used for depth, like Godard. There are a few moments that remind me of Ōshima's abilities, but I wish he had attempted this a decade earlier when he was making bold choices more frequently. 
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