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The Pornographers (The Criterion Collection)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Shôichi Ozawa, Sumiko Sakamoto, Ganjirô Nakamura, Chôchô Miyako, Haruo Tanaka
  • Directors: Shôhei Imamura
  • Writers: Shôhei Imamura, Akiyuki Nosaka, Koji Numata
  • Producers: Shôhei Imamura, Jirô Tomoda, Kazuya Yamamoto
  • Format: Anamorphic, Black & White, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: Aug. 12 2003
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009MEA0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,224 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Subu makes pornographic films. He sees nothing wrong with it. They are an aid to a repressed society, and he uses the money to support his landlady, Haru, and her family. From time to time, Haru shares her bed with Subu, though she believes her dead husband, reincarnated as a carp, disapproves. Director Shohei Imamura has always delighted in the kinky exploits of lowlifes, and in this 1966 classic, he finds subversive humor in the bizarre dynamics of Haru, her Oedipal son, and her daughter, the true object of her pornographer-boyfriend#s obsession. Imamura#s comic treatment of such taboos as voyeurism and incest sparked controversy when the film was released, but The Pornographers has outlasted its critics, and now seems ahead of its time.

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2.5 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

By Robin Simmons on July 31 2003
Format: DVD
Love'em or hate 'em, idiosyncratic films that dabble with subversive notions and stories of fringe people make some viewers uncomfortable. You either get it or not. For those who do, there are rewards.
Shohei Imamura's THE PORNOGRAPHERS (Home Vision Entertainment) is about "public service" amateur porn filmmaker Subu. He supports and sleeps with landlady Haru, who thinks her disapproving dead husband has returned as a carp. But really, Sabu lusts after Haru's daughter. Voyeurism and incest is kinky comic fodder for Imamura, who said he's interested in "lower human society and the lower parts of the human body." Not for every taste, but way ahead of it's time. If you liked this one, see if you can find "Down and Dirty."
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I would not recommend this movie if you are not a fan of either Imamura or Japanese new wave. Like most Imamura films this movie is so completely bizarre that it keeps your interest through utter fascination. Imamura says "I am interested in the lower structure of society and the lower part of the human body." This is a good summary of this movie. The lead, a pornographer believes that he is doing a favor to society by creating 16mm B&W black market porns. The most incredible scene I have ever seen on film is in this movie, a dream like sequence with surf music and a insane woman in a mental hospital are a brief description. To see this one scene is reason enough to buy this.
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Format: DVD
The Pornographers explores fetishism and unusual sexual arrangements with the bravado of a contemporary film designed to titillate the jaded bourgeoisie at Cannes, albeit with significantly less nudity. It's real, quirky, humorous, and it has a heart - in addition to dealing thoughtfully with the racy topics at hand. Even the choppily edited dream sequences seem to add to rather than detract from the overall experience.
An artful and engaging piece of cinema far ahead of its time.
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