Friday, January 2, 2009
Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence and In the Realm of Senses at the Brattle Theater
The Brattle said they bought this Oshima double feature back because of popular demand. I guess the five people in the audience with me must have really been clamoring for it. I wasn't. After seeing Night and Fog in Japan a few weeks ago, I didn't think I liked Oshima too much. I never wrote about Night and Fog because I walked out of it and I didn't think it would be fair to write a review of a film that I couldn't even sit through. Regardless, I'm happy to report that I enjoyed these two movie significantly more and have been made into a Oshima convert. Both movie are meticulously directed and photographed with bold bright colors. In Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, Oshima explores a Japanese Pow camp through the eyes of a British soldier that speaks Japanese. Cultures clash and eventually even after the allies win the war, the audience is left wondering if anything really ever changes. In the Realm of Senses on the other hand is about sex. It's a fairly explicit film. There is little plot, but alot of fucking. Oshima turns the audience into voyeurs and reinforces this by having much of the cast observing the sex on screen. As the sex gets more and more unusual, it begins to become self-destructive. Although I did like it, after an hour of continuous sex it was starting to get a little dull. But overall both movies surprised and impressed me.