Archive for February 4th, 2009


by Allan Fish

(Japan 1953 91m) not on DVD

Aka. The Saga of Anatahan

Fight for the queen bee

p  Kazuo Takimura  d  Josef Von Sternberg  w  Younghill Kang, Josef Von Sternberg  novel  Michiro Maruyama  ph  Josef Von Sternberg  ed  Mitsuzo Miyata  m  Akira Ifukube  art  Takashi Kono 

Akemi Negishi (Keiko Kusakabe), Tadashi Suganuma (Kuasakabe), Kisaburo Sawamura (Kuroda), Shoji Nakayama (Nishio), Josef Von Sternberg (narrator),

Take a dash of The Lord of the Flies, add a sprinkle of Robinson Crusoe, a tablespoon of Robert Flaherty and a liberal splash of a Roger Vadim Bardot vehicle and you’re coming close to the ingredients of Josef Von Sternberg’s remarkable swansong to the movies.  It’s a totally unique, totally artificial tale, and one which owes a lot to Von Sternberg’s earlier movies.  Like many of his earlier works, it was ignored at the box office.

            In 1944 a troop of Japanese soldiers are stranded on the volcanic island of Anatahan south of Japan and await either rescue or an attack from the enemy.  They soon meet a young girl on the island and all immediately fall under her spell, and she seems to delight in offering them teasing glimpses of flesh, leading them into an ever-increasingly cycle of lust.  As the months go by, no-one comes, but when they hear an announcement that Japan have surrendered and the war is over, they cannot believe it and assume it an enemy trick.  They stay there, their number slowly dwindling as, one by one, they give away to their savage urges to have the girl in question. (more…)

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