Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Centripetal Logic of Obsession

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Intrigued by the Nagisa Oshima’s 1976 movie, Ai No Corrida (In the Realm of the Senses), when I first read about it in college as “some kind of a litmus test of prospective suitor’s cinematic stamina” with its legendary graphic scene of castration,  I knew at that time that I had to watch it.   And I did - several times since then.  My fascination with the film grew when I found out that it is based on a real incident that happened in Tokyo in 1936 involving Sada Abe and Kichizo Ishida.

Violating all rules of censorship, decorum and decency, the movie can be easily dismissed as hard-core porn disguised as an art film - or the opposite, art made to look like pornography.  As porn, whose primary aim is to titillate its audience and deny them any reason to think or analyze, the movie fails. The erotic scenes lose their prurient quality as the film reaches its sordid, yet profoundly romantic culmination.  Through its sexual explicitness, the film has captured the centripetal logic of obsession and an all-consuming love that knows no boundaries.

Whether art or porn, In the Realm of the Senses is definitely not for the prudish or the easily perturbed.


Anonymous said...

prurient with romantic twist! my kind of movie! this is not your ordinary chick flick. :)

Angeli said...

its artsy porn. haha

riky and nina said...

i've seen this one and the legendary scene. not as shocking really. its all hype. have you seen 'the secretary' with maggie gylenhall?

Angeli said...

not yet. what is it about? any good?

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