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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Oshima, First Encounter, Night of the Killer

Muri Shinju: Nihon No Natsu (Japanese Summer: Double Suicide, aka Night of the Killer), made in 1967 by Oshima. His famous movies would follow, and I hope I will be able to see some of them in April: there is an Oshima each weekend at the AFI Theatre in Silver Spring.

It was my first encounter with Oshima and with a movie from the Japanese New Wave. I had read some insightful info in the monograph of Tom Vick (Asian Cinema). I will crystallize my ideas after watching several movies.

Some words about this one, the Night of the Killer: it called into my mind the first movies of Jarmusch (the kind of Stranger Than Paradise), however it's another animal; it is programatically against any value: any Japanese taboo, any Japanese myth, any concept of cinematic art; it's an anti-movie with an anti-plot, by an anti-author. A girl is looking for sex (well, it happens, you know), all males are jerks, so sex cannot be. And gangsters are the number one jerks (this is a movie with gangsters and there are a lot of Japanese movies cultivating the myth of the gangster, black dramas - here is a black comedy: gangsters are just cheap guys good of nothing, crazy violent impotent idiots; they think they're killers, actually they are not, they are too impotent to kill - however in the end some of them kill here and there, just to contradict even the logic of Oshima - as I said, he is an anti-author, whatever that means).

Kathie Smith has a very good chronicle about this movie in her blog.

(Japanese New Wave)

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  • Too bad I missed the Oshima event at the Harvard Film Archive this past November


    By Blogger andrei radulescu-banu, at 9:12 AM  

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