A thief, murderer, and charming lady-killer, Iwao Enokizu (Ken Ogata) is on the run from the police. Director Shohei Imamura turns this fact-based story, of the seventy-eight-day killing spree of a remorseless man from a devoutly Catholic family, into a cold, perverse, and at times diabolically funny tale of the primitive coexisting with the modern. More than just a true-crime case, Vengeance Is Mine bares mankind’s snarling id. —The Criterion Collection
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
The technically stylish takes on real crimes such as Zodiac seem paper thin to this subdued and unsettling take on a real murderer, slowly pulling you into the world of the 'characters', all of them fatally flawed but human, amplified by a fragmented narrative structure that avoids leading you by the hand through a rigid timeline and allowing Imamura to bring in his view on Japan. It confirms for me his talent.
Don't know if a finer movie has been made. Can't think of another that so successfully skirts conventional psychology without committing to it reductively, without sacrificing mystery. The direction is protean and possibly random while maintaining an unwavering focus- a very rare achievement. Imamura knows that he doesn't have to choose between opacity and insight- the truth is between the two poles.
a different breed of serial killer sub-genre,.and i tell you what,.this is on par, if not better, with such newer serial killer drama such as Silence Of The Lambs, Se7en, or Memories Of Murder. read review
Just watched this for the first time tonight, here`s my mini review:
That we aren`t dealing with a straighforward Hollywood type serial killer film here is clear from the first scene. The starts… read review
Imagine this movie told in two distinct halves, the first half centered around his relationship with Haru, the second dealing with the relationship with his family. I think the film would have been… read review