Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Nagisa Oshima

Nagisa Oshima has died... The period in which he emerged, the Japanese new wave, if you can call it that, is one of the high points, the absolute high points, of film history. I am, fairly obviously, more of an Imamura man - but I guess that's like saying I'm more of an Ozu man than a Mizoguchi man - there's not that big a gap. And Oshima is the director who defines the period for me - his experimentation, overt political engagement, intellectual ambition, and rather all-encompanssing interests - epitomize the era - inventive, challenging, and always beautiful filmmaking. His contemporaries do seem to have found their niches, worked a more particular ground - maybe only Yoshida can approach the variety of film work Oshima did... He was, then, one of the great ones - and I salute him.

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