Shohei Imamura’s ribald, darkly comic films about messy human relationships and coarse, indomitable women repelled early European critics who had grown to cherish the graceful, exotic image of Japan typified by Kenji Mizoguchi films. Yet Imamura remains a critically important director, both as one of the seminal Japanese New Wave directors (along with Nagisa Oshima and Masahiro Shinoda) and as a chronicler of a side of Japan rarely seen in Mizoguchi movies or tourist brochures.
Born in 1926, in Tokyo, Imamura attended the elite elementary and middle schools that normally would have aimed him toward a prestigious university degree and a comfortable career in business or government. His love of theater and loathing of bourgeois presumptions, however, steered him away from a conventional lifestyle. When he failed the entrance exam for the agriculture program at the national university in Hokkaido, he enrolled in a technical school to evade the draft. The day the Pacific War ended… read more
I think it's interesting that he started out as an assitant to Ozu and then Takashi Miike was his assistant on "Black Rain." An interesting change of individual takes on Japanese filmmaking throughout the generations, wouldn't you say?
Please add Endless Desire Director: Shohei Imamura Screenplay: Natto Wada Production: Nikkatsu Photography: Joji Ohara Music: Ryoichi Hattori Cast: Shizuko Kasagi, Tomiko Hattori, Kayo Matsuo, Hiroyuki Nagato Running Time: 101 m. Year: 1958 On the tenth anniversary of Japan's capitulation to the Allies, five people descend upon a butcher shop basement used as an air-raid shelter during the war. There to dig up a cache of morphine are the ferocious widow of the man who buried it, the owner of a Chinese restaurant, a gangster, a pharmacist, and a high school teacher. http://www.sansebastianfestival.com/admin_img/peliculas/p530/560055.jpg