Set in a Japanese village at the end of the nineteenth century, the film details the downfall of a married woman and her lover after they murder her husband and dump his body in a well. With eroticism and horror, Oshima plunges the viewer into a nightmarish tale of guilt and retribution.
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Exceptionally well shot by dp Yoshio Miyajima (Kwaidan) with an essential score by Toru Takemitsu, 'Empire of Passion' holds up as a strong mix of eroticism and ghost story. Kazuko Yoshiyuki is quite striking as Seki, a woman with a young lover haunted by her murdered husband. The environment and passing seasons have a striking effect as does the slow burn of the construction of this fine film from Oshima.
Passionate and dark - rides a fine line between tragic romance and chilling ghost tale. Criminally underrated film with beautiful visuals that, despite a pace that feels a little too slow, is expertly directed. The score is particularly noteworthy, as it balances a traditional Japanese sound with something more atmospheric and modern. Worth revisiting again and again.
The movie gains a lot from Tōru Takemitsu’s fascinating score, located between elements of traditional Japanese music and avantgarde sounds. Look especially at the dreamlike sequence about finding the right road.
Extraordinario film de Nagisa Oshima. Clasico del cine japonès de los 70, este film fantasmal pleno de sutil erotismo y critica social trasciende las convenciones del cine de horror y resulta ser toda una experiencia audiovisual. La musica de Toru Takemitsu no tiene madre.
A cautionary tale of the perils of lust, idleness, and the wages of guilt. Darkly lush cinematography and a perfectly crafted score create an oppressive atmosphere of tension, regret, and ultimately utter madness. EMPIRE OF PASSION is an odyssey into the darkest recesses of the human psyche, highlighting both our capacity for evil and ultimately our fragility.