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In the realm of the senses [Import]
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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 morePublished on Nov. 21 2010 by Argyle
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 morePublished on July 1 2010 by Isaac Sobol
I can review this thing in 4 words:
Totally unerotic; unspeakably vile.
There, done it.
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 morePublished on May 15 2004 by Victoria Fletcher
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 morePublished on May 15 2004
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 morePublished on May 9 2004 by Dan
....BUT I HAVE READ MOST OF THE REVIEWS...I THINK THE POINT I AM TRYING TO GET ACROSS IS THAT THIS WAS NOT MEANT TO BE A PORN...IT WAS MEANT TO BE ART... Read morePublished on May 7 2004 by Christopher Satterwhite
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 morePublished on March 30 2004 by jjcx
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
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