With its cryptic title (more commonly recognized as the name of a Stereolab album), Emperor Tomato Ketchup is one of Terayama’s most challenging and controversial works. Lacking a conventional narrative, the film’s rough, often over-exposed imagery at times resembles a home movie gone horribly wrong. Set in a Japan where children have mysteriously gained control, its revolutionary gaze is as much sexual as it is political. —Film Brain
Shūji Terayama (December 10, 1935—May 4, 1983) was an avant-garde Japanese poet, dramatist, writer, film director, and photographer. According to many critics and supporters, he was one of the most productive and provocative creative artists to come out of Japan. He was born December 10, 1935, the only son of Hachiro and Hatsu Terayama in Hirosaki city in the northern Japanese prefecture of Aomori. His father died at the end of Pacific War in Indonesia in September 1945. At the age of nine, his mother moved to Kyūshū to work at an American military base while he himself went to live with relatives in the city of Misawa, also in Aomori. At this same time, Terayama lived through the Aomori air raids that killed more than 30,000 people.
Terayama entered Aomori Prefectural Aomori High School in 1951, and in 1954 went to prestigious Waseda University’s Faculty of Education to study Japanese language and literature. However, he soon dropped out because he fell ill with nephrotic syndrome… read more
Political satire done right; ugly and moments of endearment. There were moments where I was enchanted by its playfulness... and then disgusted by its playfulness! Outside of the satire, you have a mock propaganda movie that experiments with the medium in a way that feel so refreshing! With its over exposed scenes and performance pieces, its a whimsical cross section between avant grade and narrative filmmaking!
This is the common problem of most films; they don't edit their work, even though their statement can be understood in just a minute or less. Metaphors and other hidden messages on films can be made in a very short period of time but a statements that last for more than a minute is exhausting.. It is ok, but really hard to watch...