Shohei Imamura

Shohei Imamura (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 1), edited by James Quandt

I am interested in the relationship of the lower part of the human body and the lower part of the social structure. Shohei Imamura is a compilation of reflexive, analytical, and appreciative essays on Imamura’s idiosyncratic and critical, yet compassionate films that examine the dichotomy of human behavior in the structured, conformist, and highly ordered… read more »

Japanese Film Directors by Audie Bock

Audie Bock presents a collection of perceptive, knowledgeable, and comprehensive critical essays on the most influential and distinctive filmmakers of Japan in Japanese Film Directors. Bock chronologically explores the personal influences and cinematic contributions of several acclaimed film directors, and in the process, provides an intelligent observation on the profound effects of changing political, social,… read more »

Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave Cinema by David Desser

In Eros Plus Masscre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave Cinema, David Desser examines the creative and revolutionary spirit that defined the 1960s Japanese new wave movement (nuberu bagu) apart from the facile identification and synchronicity associated with the coincidental emergence of the French new wave, and more importantly, refocuses his exposition within the… read more »

A Man Vanishes, 1967

Converging towards Kobo Abe’s experimental fiction in its fragmented examination of the strange phenomenon of johatsu – the unexplained (and presumably self-initiated) disappearances of otherwise seemingly responsible and professional salarymen in metropolitan Tokyo – as a broader social symptom of the anonymization and erasure of identity inherent in urbanization and rigid cultural conformity (most notably,… read more »

Intentions of Murder, 1964

Anticipating Nagisa Oshima’s Ceremony in its metaphoric representation of the dying of the samurai class through contaminated bloodlines, mystical connections, incestuous relationships, frailty, and impotence, Intentions of Murder bears the characteristic imprint of Shohei Imamura’s recurring preoccupations: the sensuality and resilience of women, the manifestation of individualism in a codified society, the idiosyncrasies and primitive… read more »

Black Rain, 1989

On the morning of August 6, 1945, a young woman named Yasuko (Yoshiko Tanaka) catches a ride with a neighbor who is evacuating from Hiroshima in order to transport her family’s formal clothes and sentimental possessions to a friend’s home for safekeeping on a nearby island in FuruĂ©. At 8:15, during a tea ceremony, Yasuko… read more »

The Ballad of Narayama, 1982

The Ballad of Narayama opens to an aerial shot of a vast, frozen wilderness on a remote mountainous region in Northern Japan at an inexact date of a hundred years ago. Along the base of the mountain is an isolated, snow covered feudal village, where a family matriarch Orin (Sumiko Sakamoto) lives with her widowed… read more »

Vengeance Is Mine, 1979

On January 4, 1964, a convoy of patrol cars traverse a provincial countryside to escort captured criminal Iwao Enokizu (Ken Ogata) to the local police precinct for interrogation. Callous and unremorseful, Enokizu laments his inevitable fate as unfair, citing that his arresting officers will outlive him and continue the pursuit of hedonistic pleasure now denied… read more »

The Pornographers, 1966

A film crew hikes to the outskirts of town in order to surreptitiously shoot a pornographic film. Flouting the law, a pornographer named Ogata (Shoichi Ozawa) rationalizes his disreputable livelihood as a necessary commodity and public service for the continued well-being of society. The enterprising men screen their latest project, and the film opens with… read more »

The Insect Woman, 1963

The Insect Woman opens to the spare and indelible magnified shot of an ant crawling awkwardly, but persistently, through the rough terrain of its microcosmic environment. The image of the tenacious insect is then repeated through the shot of a harried, simple-minded man named Chuji (Kazuo Kitamura) as he trudges through the treacherous winter fields… read more »