• After a decade long absence from making fiction films—Imamura is back and although he doesn’t reach the heights of The Pornographers but would be the career high water-mark for most auteurs
  • Ken Ogata (later from Mishima) is haunting here as lead Iwao Enokizuv
  • Even at his lightest (not here)-  Imamura’s world is still dark—ugly—but this is the same as Kurosawa’s before him- dog eat dog nihilism —  it’s so dark here it’s sadism—there’s von Trier (again before von Trier) as a comparison—Pasolini, Gaspar Noe, Bunuel—I can see touches of influence on Haneke and the Coen Brothers with their fatalism
  • recreates the library framing shot from Intentions of Murder
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  • beautiful dream-like orange sequence
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  • I love Roger Ebert, and this is in his great films series, but he writes 1097 words before talking about film style and that’s ridiculous when discussing this film or Imamura. If people hail this as his singular masterpiece they either haven’t seen The Pornographers or don’t fully understand film style
  • A very specific time/date procedural—we get a time of death, a coroner’s report—this does drop off though towards the end of the film which is poor form
  • Gorgeous shot of the red apples on the car window of the salt truck—he uses windows as a frame (Renoir) and a von Sternberberg-like compositioning of mise-en-scene
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  • Gruesome murder scenes- mostly entirely unstylized (the climatic one aside) which makes it more haunting almost – emotionless
  • an Ozu-like mastery of framing and depth of field
  • Stunner of a shot visiting Enokizu’s for the first time with the wooden bars blocking the frame
  • A great tracking shot moving in when the father hands over boats to the government in a flashback of Enokizu as a child—a cause of is disenchantment—the making of a monster
  • The mise-en-scene work is stunning- better than almost everything out there but it is dialed back from The Pornographers, I’m guessing to make room for the procedural narrative (which is very engaging)
  • Enokizu and his wife broken up in the frame by the window— and then a frame within frame with the curtains used
  • Jaw-dropper of a shot with some of the shoji doors missing panels and some not
  • It’s is an auteurs work both in style and content- Imamura and sexuality
  • A master of depth of field work like Wyler or Welles
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  • Creative shot showing the object (a prostitute in this case) between the tv antenna
  • Rentarô Mikuni as his dad is superb—a great supporting performance. There’s a standout scene of him spitting in his son’s face
  • Almost every Imamura film makes the man is an animal comparison—we get Pigs, Insects, Fish (often in the film titles themselves) and here with the eels towards the end
  • Imamura uses his trademark cut to the overhead shot at the climactic moment—in past works (Pigs, Intentions of Murder) it was for horrific rape shots and here it’s for the final murder/strangling)
  • End with a freeze frame of the wife and father throwing bones
  • A Must-See film