jack m, i agree with you thought Bowie was fantstic
1983: Annus mirabilis for David Bowie. First Let's Dance, then this. The album is the greater achievement, sure, but how nice it is to have this visual record of the man, looking not unlike one of the "superhuman gods" that Col. Lawrence contends the Imperial Japanese long to become. In Captain Yanoi's strangled desire for Celliers Oshima reenacts the attraction/repulsion dynamic between post-Edo Japan and the West.
Love the score, as well as the Bowie/Conti/Sakamoto triangle. Its homoerotic subtext is maybe less startling to me, as I've been watching a similar argument being made in yakuza films for years (*Gozu* being the most batsh*t and extreme example of this). It's unfair to compare it to that movie, but I'm left wondering if the exploration of the suppressed triangle, the complicated desires, went quite far enough.
David Bowie+Ruyichi Sakamoto+Takeshi 'Beat' Kitano; it's hard not to love this film. This is a strange and hypnotically beautiful work, and I'm not really sure what to make of it. It plays out like fragments of dreams that don't quite add up to a whole, but rather a shattered portrait. This was probably the best introduction to Oshima, as well. A bit overlong, but fascinating none the less.
Too much boredom. Horrible script, worst acting, uninteresting cinematography. All bad.
“We are victims of men who believe they are right, just as you and Yonoi believed absolutely that you were right. And the truth is, of course, that no one is right.”
One eye blue, one eye brown. You can tell he wants to break out in song the whole time.
The soundtrack by Ryuichi Sakamoto is one of the best film soundtracks I have ever heard. The dream-like quality of the music is a really interesting contrast to the intensity of the movie. The most beautiful version of the Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence theme is on the album "1996" by Sakamoto; when the theme is played on the piano it really makes you realize what an exceptional piece of music it is.
I happened to read a review of this before seeing it which said that it suffered from the disparity of acting styles between the Japanese and the Brits, but I can't agree. The acting styles fit their characters. David Bowie is probably the least impressive, but even he has moments and he's never terrible. Tom Conti is awesome, he and Takeshi made the movie. There are some interesting lighting choices on display.