Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Is Being a Human Being So Disgusting?

Shohei Imamura has died. One of my favorite directors, very possibly my favorite living director over the last 7-8 years. I saw the retrospective of his films that toured in 1998, and came away more than a fan. Right up to the last thing he did, his section of the 11'09''01 film, itself a mini-masterpiece. He set it at the end of WWII -a returned soldier thinks he is a snake, crawls around, eats rats, and finally crawls off into the jungle... it struck me then as being to Imamura's career what David Lynch's piece in Lumiere and Company was - both for being a stunning short film in the middle of an inconsistent, though interesting, project - and for being a distillation of their work: "is being a human being so disgusting?" Well - no, not when some people make films like he did.

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