A dazzling, unruly portrait of American–occupied postwar Japan, Pigs and Battleships details, with escalating absurdity, the desperate power struggles between small-time gangsters in the port town of Yokosuka. The film is shot in gorgeously composed, bustling cinemascope.
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Trucks crammed with black-market pigs, battleships filled with American soldiers -- they form parallel fleets, economic and military, enlisted in the same campaign: finishing off the transformation of Japan begun by the end of Edo. The only innocents here are the pigs -- civilians suffer but also connive -- recruited as brute trade's raw materials and as proxies for Japanese turning upon and consuming themselves.
At times violent, at other darkly funny, this is an outstanding look into the Japanese underworld during the American occupation. You can definitely see an influence on future filmmakers like Scorsese. Those opening shots, and the closing sequences, are wonderful. The Criterion set truly does Imamura, and this film, justice.
it is sort of a definitive masterpiece. imamura is immensely gifted in the manner in which he manages to parody the japanese nation under the americans as well as as presenting an insight into the lowest and most realistic of japanese classes. the visuals are beautiful, the script is snappy, funny and in the end philosophical. i just love how real everything becomes in an imamura film. there is only one.
Inflammatory, anti-American; somehow grotesque and humanistic in equal measure. Imamura's mastery of style is evident precisely within this confusion of the terrible and the hilarious. After all, it IS kinda funny Kinta has a confederate flag on his baseball cap. But the more you think about it, the worse it gets.
Imamura is starting to become a favorite of mine. Just love the how Imamura captures the seedy milieu, right from the opening shot which is simply incredible. Some say this was his first major film. I'd still like to see those he made earlier though.
The two protagonists are a young gangster eager to move up in rank and his straight girlfriend who's forced by her family to prostitute herself to US soldiers for money. It sounds bleak as hell but Imamura never indulges in melodrama, favoring a realistic approach that shows people can enter survival mode and become resilient to circumstances.
Imamura, he's a mercenary one! A kind of Scorsese or Fassbinder with a dash of early Godard? I don't know if that description fits but I just watched this movie and I fucking loved it. A touch of Mizoguchi with some Fuller for good measure.
satira antiamericana sul periodo dell'occupazione culturale e militare da parte di questi nel Giappone del dopoguerra. Regia solida di Imamura, che riesce a reggere con mano sicura anche concitate scene corali, anche se il film impiega almeno la metà del tempo prima di decollare. L'ultima parte è nettamente la più riuscita, dove ritmo e ironia finalmente vanno a briglia sciolta