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In the realm of the senses

Tatsuya Fuji , Eiko Matsuda , Nagisa Ôshima    NC-17   DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 56.06
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Product Description


Nagisa Oshima's sensational, 1976 film concerns a woman (Eiko Matsuda) whose obsessive sexual relationship with her husband (Tatsuya Fuji) crosses the line from passion into the territory of life and death. One of the most sexually explicit films ever to play in mainstream theaters (though it did run into legal trouble both in the U.S. and Japan), it has an air of palpable doom, suggesting that sex can be a doorway to suicide. Lest this sound like grunge-era noodling over dreams of self-destruction, be assured that the Kyoto-born Oshima (Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence) takes a somewhat formal, middle-aged perspective on the conjunction of various mysteries of existence. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Serious Minded Erotica...... May 16 2004
Nagisa Oshima has achieved what few other directors have managed in dealing with the very touchy subject of sex, in this instance, with sexual obsession. If you plan to watch this movie for a cheap sexual thrill, you will be most disappointed. Oshima has drawn from a real incident reported in a 1936 Japanese newspaper. The film centers around the love between two people expressed physically, graphically, into realms of the senses where few dare to tread. And with good reason. This is a very intense film as it progresses from the attraction of two people through increasing experimentation in an effort not only to express their passion but to try to find the outer most limits of passion itself. Oshima must have had something metaphorical in mind but the journey as chronicled in the film also has retained the feel of the specifics. It's quirkey and eccentric. The backdrop of the story is as interesting as the story itself. It is an amazing spectacle to observe, giving the viewer a perspective on Japanese life not usually rendered but often alluded to in some historical accounts. One wonders what this experience must have been like for the actors. Oshima has managed what I have always believed should be done in order to treat the subject of sex fully and without shrinking from its' less savory aspects. This is serious minded erotica and quite unlike anything else on screen. The only other film I can recall that compares at all is "Taxi Zum Klo" which was autobiographical and starred a number of actual people playing themselves.Obviously a different catagory in that regard from what is going on here, but both films draw much of their power from explicitly sexual scenes without compromising the integrity of the story being told. This is a film experience that should not be missed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars May Float Your Boat or Sink Your Ship April 19 2004
Many of you looking at this particular item might be well aware of foreign cinema, in all of it's delightfully un-Hollywood sentimentality. If you've seen the movie - which I'll assume some of you have - you might have already formed a very specific opinion about it. Perhaps the reason why is because the subject matter is very extreme, and it'd be more than a little difficult to walk away and not feel something. Initially, I was disgusted. I changed my mind, and I thought I'd share my reasoning here.
First of all, let's say for the sake of argument that the world has various standards when it comes to morality in any film dealing with adult issues. Some of you may have seen Lars Von Trier's "Dogville" and thought to yourself: "That's one skewed paradigm." Be that as it may, it's no less plausible than the cinematic - or philosophic - paradigm of Steven Spielberg. My point here is that we all look at and engage realities in a different way - and Japanese cinema is no different. In his revelatory book "Eros in Hell," Jack Hunter explores Japanese "pink cinema." This film is among hundreds produced in an odd era of Japanese filmmaking. Comparable with American "blue movies," pinku eiga moved to explore the boundaries of s*x as art, but also the psychological implications between the graphic evidence.
It'd be easy to refer to this genre of filmmaking as horror/pornography; the more difficult path is examining it in the same light you might examine a film by Adriane Lyne or David Cronenberg. Their general aesthetic is curiously akin to Japanese pink films. So here's the breakdown: this film is, in my opinion, an exploration of s*x as statement which is then turned on it's head to direct it's audience in considering the right questions.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Bullring of Love May 27 2003
By now everyone knows this film is about a sexually-obsessed woman who strangles and then cuts off her lover's willie (the extent to which her lover shared in the extremety of her obsession is somewhat debatable...). That notwithstanding, the film is well-acted, visually stylish, and manages to convey a genuine feeling for the passion which drove the characters. It's also succinct (at 96 minutes) and has some fabulous sex scenes.
The real-life case of 'Abe Sada' (Abe is the family name) was very well known in Japan, occurring almost 40 years before Oshima made this film. There are at least two other cinematic versions of the events. If anything, reality was even a bit stranger than fiction: in the real-life case Abe was arrested whilst carrying around the severed member in her kimono sash. I saw a photograph of her once, taken just after her arrest: you have never seen a more haunted-looking woman.
The original Japanese title of the film is 'Ai no Corrida,' 'Ai' means 'love', but, interestingly, 'Corrida' is not a Japanese word at all: it's a Spanish word meaning 'dash' 'sprint' or 'spurt', and is most often used in the expression 'Corrida de Toros' -- i.e. bullfight -- strongly alluding to the brutal (and inevitable) death of the bull at the end. This puts quite a different complexion on the theme of the film than does the Western distributor's title of 'In the Realm of the Senses' which seems to imply sensual pleasure which has perhaps unintentionally got out of hand.
Oshima's stock-in-trade has always been the 'shocking' film, usually made with the aim of confronting 'bourgeous' sensibilities or an accepted view of society or history. In the 1960's they were more of the socio-political variety (e.g.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An unforgettable drama
This was one of the most erotic and fascinating movies I've ever seen. Traditional Japanese music combined with exquisite photography and superb acting make this love story a... Read more
Published on Nov. 21 2010 by Argyle
5.0 out of 5 stars Isaac
I first saw this film over 20 years ago. At that time, its graphic depictions of sexual activity were unheard of in a mainstream movie. Read more
Published on July 1 2010 by Isaac Sobol
1.0 out of 5 stars Vile !
I can review this thing in 4 words:
Totally unerotic; unspeakably vile.
There, done it.
Published on March 28 2005
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting movie...
I have to say that this movie is most certainly not one for everyone. That's quite obvious from it's NC-17 rating, and the fact that it was banned for quite some time. Read more
Published on May 15 2004 by Victoria Fletcher
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the time or money
After reading some of the other reviews I was expecting a film that would leave me thinking about something of significance in life, even if was an extreme reaction to sexual... Read more
Published on May 15 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad acting at all, Maddona was right for once...
There is defintely a movie here and not just about sex. It's about passion and needing over coming ones mind, and I'm sure we've all felt that way at one time, of course maybe it... Read more
Published on May 9 2004 by Dan
5.0 out of 5 stars I HAVENT SEEN THIS YET...
Published on May 7 2004 by Christopher Satterwhite
1.0 out of 5 stars Pornography? It doesn't matter!
I don't want to try and write any kind of review about whether or not this movie is pornography. Frankly, it doesn't matter whether or not is pornographic in nature. Read more
Published on March 30 2004 by jjcx
1.0 out of 5 stars A Waste of Time
If you want to watch something erotic, save your money and get something else.
I find the self-righteousness and pretentiousness of Japanese cinema in general to be a bit of a... Read more
Published on March 19 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Explicit art
It was not, to be honest, one of the films in the world I have enjoyed the most. The Japanese fascination with pain is a bit odd to me. Read more
Published on Feb. 17 2004 by Eolake
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