Nagisa Oshima: The Man Who Left His Soul On Film

Virtually a crash course on the most important and talented living Japanese filmmaker after Kurosawa and on related aspects of contemporary Japanese politics and culture. This superb feature-length documentary by Paul Joyce for England’s Channel Four offers an indispensable look at a fearlessly innovative and political filmmaker who is all but unknown in this country. Making intelligent use of Anglo-American commentators (writers Donald Richie, Roger Pulvers, and Paul Mayersberg) as well as Oshima himself, this film somehow manages to cover everything in Oshima’s career from his early youth shockers to In the Realm of the Senses and Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrencewithout leaving out Oshima’s fame as a Japanese TV personality (at the outset we see him acting in a commercial for a bug spray). Essential viewing (1984). (JR)

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