Reviews

  • Mar 03, 2013

    epic and thrilling in the style Imamura made how own way back then, with stunning cinematography and intense performances. sad to see how forgotten this great director's work now is

    epic and thrilling in the style Imamura made how own way back then, with stunning cinematography and intense performances. sad to see how forgotten this great director's work now is

  • Oct 31, 2009

    A fully-realized period piece that doesn't really adhere to any kind of genre-specific code of conduct. Granted, the nature of Shohei Imamura's ("Black Rain" 1989) work makes it a little difficult to ground yourself if you come into it knowing little-to-nothing, but eventually it segues into an awkwardly engrossing account of daily life during the early Meiji era. Equal parts colorful and tragic, this melodrama may suffer from Return-of-the-King syndrome in its last moments, but by that time it has convinced you that staying a few extra minutes won't hurt.

    A fully-realized period piece that doesn't really adhere to any kind of genre-specific code of conduct. Granted, the nature of Shohei Imamura's ("Black Rain" 1989) work makes it a little difficult to ground yourself if you come into it knowing little-to-nothing, but eventually it segues into an awkwardly engrossing account of daily life during the early Meiji era. Equal parts colorful and tragic, this melodrama may suffer from Return-of-the-King syndrome in its last moments, but by that time it has convinced you that staying a few extra minutes won't hurt.

  • Nov 23, 2007

    A fascinating movie that remains in memory long after viewing. Ken Ogata is great here, as he also was in The Ballad of Narayama and Mishima.

    A fascinating movie that remains in memory long after viewing. Ken Ogata is great here, as he also was in The Ballad of Narayama and Mishima.

  • Jun 23, 2007

    June 8, 2007 - Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley A brilliant re-imagining of the Eijanaika ("Who cares?") revolts shortly before the Meji restoration. Imamura is intent on telling a narrative informed by views from "lower part of the human body and the lower part of the social structure." The director's recasting of this pivotal event in Japanese history celebrates the "carnival of revolution" of ordinary people - small-time crooks, prostitutes, and peasants - which increasingly overturns power structures and gender divisions, only to be thwarted by a new ruthlessness and a freshly imported batch of rifles. I am not a historian of 19th-century Japan, but I see this film as a remarkable piece of historical writing.

    June 8, 2007 - Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley A brilliant re-imagining of the Eijanaika ("Who cares?") revolts shortly before the Meji restoration. Imamura is intent on telling a narrative informed by views from "lower part of the human body and the lower part of the social structure." The director's recasting of this pivotal event in Japanese history celebrates the "carnival of revolution" of ordinary people - small-time crooks, prostitutes, and peasants - which increasingly overturns power structures and gender divisions, only to be thwarted by a new ruthlessness and a freshly imported batch of rifles. I am not a historian of 19th-century Japan, but I see this film as a remarkable piece of historical writing.

  • Jun 12, 2007

    Absolutely absurd yet entirely endearing. If it prompted me to use assonance in the review, then it was worth the two-and-a-half hours it took to watch it. One of the only Imamura films I enjoyed, with a brilliant opening sequence.

    Absolutely absurd yet entirely endearing. If it prompted me to use assonance in the review, then it was worth the two-and-a-half hours it took to watch it. One of the only Imamura films I enjoyed, with a brilliant opening sequence.