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Archive for July 11th, 2009

ai no 1

by Allan Fish

(Japan/France 1976 105m) DVD1/2

Aka. In the Realm of the Senses/Empire of the Senses

101 things to do with a hard boiled egg

p  Anatole Dauman  d/w  Nagisa Oshima  ph  Hideo Ito, Kenichi Okamoto  ed  Keiichi Uraoka  m  Minoru Miki  art  Jusho Toda

Tatsuya Fuji (Kichi-zo), Eiko Matsuda (Sada), Aoi Nakajima (Toku), Maika Seri (Matsuko), Taiji Tonayama (old beggar), Hiroko Fuji, Naomi Shiraishi, Kyoko Okada,

Of all the films in my list, this is a prime contender for the most controversial.  Up until 1991 the film was totally banned in the UK and was only released for DVD ten years later.  It is a film that has aroused many, repulsed a good many more and never been less than contentious, sometimes legally dangerous and always thought-provoking.  Oshima may have made more potent political statements with his earlier films The Diary of a Shinjuku Thief, Death by Hanging, Boy and The Ceremony, but they are very hard to see these days.  Perhaps the greatest irony, considering its past history, is that Ai No Corrida is now by far and away the easiest Oshima film to get hold of.           

It’s based on the same real life events of 1936 that formed the basis for Noboru Tanaka’s A Woman Called Abé Sada, that of a nymphomaniac who leaves prostitution to work as a maid for an inn owner, with whom she begins a destructive sado-masochistic sexual affair, which turns to asphyxiation, strangulation and ultimately, death. (more…)

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