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Film Review: Empire of Passion (1978) by Nagisa Oshima

Film Review: Empire of Passion (1978) by Nagisa Oshima

Two years after the release of “In the Realm of the Senses”, arguably his most notorious work given the scandal it caused in many countries, Nagisa Oshima made “Empire of Passion”, which was advertised as a spiritual successor to his last work. Based on a novel by Itoko NakamuraEmpire of Passion” shares the idea of a fatal affair, emphasizing the link between devotion, passion and violence, but in the end is quite a different movie, especially due to its horror elements, which caused many to regard it as one of the inspirations for Hideo Nakata’s “Ringu”. You might even go one step further by not just calling it a different, but in many ways also a much more refined and better feature than its predecessor, telling the story of a small community whose deeply-rooted blend of superstition and predilection for gossip make it a very bitter portrayal of Japanese society and politics.

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