Set in a Japanese village, controlled by the eldest branch of the family who own the only clock. Sutekichi lives with his cousin Sue, who wears a chastity belt because sex is forbidden between cousins. This makes Sutekichi a laughing stock, until in rage he murders Daisaku the head of the family and runs away with Sue. –BFI
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
I'm a huge Terayama fan, but this didn't go so well as far as lucidity is concerned. Maybe if he hadn't passed during filming, it would have made more sense. It's the same story for me with Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, which could have been like his other pictures. But hey, at least it's opened up the wider world of J-experimental film for me. On to unknowns like Jonouchi Motoharu and Masao Adachi.
In this village, time becomes subjective and memory falls away, leaving it as an island unto itself, its mythologies and traditions intertwining and taking form. Eventually the murder of a neighbor sets off a chain of events that leads to mass exodus and ultimately to the birth of an urban purgatory free of objectivity altogether. A beautiful ode and final farewell to the old way of life, nostalgic but not cynical.