What begins as a procedural depiction of Japan’s capital punishment system slowly but surely loses every last one of its marbles in an absurd, comic perspective of the country's post-war socio-political climate. It does this through no more than a loophole in the execution process that causes moral dilemma and dark comedy. This is unleashed, untamed and insanely inventive filmmaking.
A brilliant man transgresses the most basic rules of society and he is caught and punished for his actions although something unexpected happens. After his failed capital punishment he gains awareness of the ridiculousness of society's beliefs, customs and tradition. Then the quest for identity in a deeply meaningless and ridiculous world.
A very dark comedy about capital punishment, rape, murder, racism and state responsibility. A young Korean is sentenced to death for the murder and rape of 2 women, but survives the hanging and is then walked through his life by the execution team. There is a wonderful use of b&w, as well as an exceptional close-up shot composition, that is frequently broken into by the free-wheelin' theatrics of the executioners. ”
Un film qui a terriblement mal vieilli. Le postulat de base aurait pu être intéressant mais les choix narratifs (le huis clos) et le jeu des acteurs m'ont complètement laissé dehors. La mise en scène est parfois percutante pour l'époque mais c'est bien peu pour m'accrocher.
Une façon absolue d' Oshima, de s'emparer du sujet, ici la peine de mort, pour le transcender . Ce qui commence comme une enquête de documentaire se termine dans un onirisme prodigieux. Il nous livre sa vérité précieuse philosophique amoureuse et politique sur les hommes, l'état et l'histoire japonaise. Et tout devient universel. dans une virtuosité de mise en scène époustouflante, images et acteurs sublimes
I disagree with people who don't like the 2nd hour as much as the 1st (as good as it is). It's one of the best mixes of political polemic and absurdist film I've come across. It's a lot funnier than the title/subject matter would infer, in its satire of the death penalty, institutions, morality, nationalism, racism and self interest. The last half hour is strangely moving. MASTERPIECE.
http://www.bfi.org.uk/whatson/bfi_southbank/film_programme/august_seasons/shinjuku_diaries_films_from_the_art_theatre_guild_of_ja The film will be screened at BFI Southbank as part of Shinjuku Diaries: Films from the Art Theatre Guild season (1st - 31st Aug) Screening on 1st introduced by Go Hirasawa after panel discussion on ATG between Roland Domenig, Yuriko Yuruhata, Tony Rayns and myself