Thursday, March 24, 2011

Oshima for Japan

Three Nagisa Oshima films - including the rather notorious In The Realm of the Senses, pictured above - will play the Pacific Cinematheque in April, with two dollars from each ticket being donated to the Red Cross for earthquake/tsunami relief in Japan. In The Realm of the Senses is one of those arthouse films that everyone who cares about cinema needs to come to terms with - a daringly explicit treatment of the story of Sada Abe, who, on May 18, 1936, erotically asphyxiated her lover, then cut off his penis and testicles, carrying them around in her handbag. I've argued with friends whether or not that film is a "devouring cunt" movie - a misogynistic take on the ways in which a female might destroy a male; I hold that it isn't, since both the female and male (and perhaps even the audience!) find fulfillment in the sadomasochistic relationship the film depicts, and since Oshima is very attentive to the power relationships that inform the lover's actions, and intent on querying them, using the story of Sada Abe as a point of entry... (And what's wrong with devouring cunt movies, anyhow?). In any event, if you haven't seen it, you must, and this is a great opportunity: it screens April 6-10th, also with Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence and Empire of Passion (check the links for exact showtimes!).

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