21 December 2015 | mevmijaumau
Pleasures of the Flesh (1965)
Nagisa Oshima's Pleasures of the Flesh is the first film produced by his first studio, Sozosha, after he parted ways with Shochiku in order to make provocative films, even though there's nothing in this movie that's more radical than his earlier works, which were equally as aggressive. Similarly, this film is often classified as a pinku movie, but it really isn't (for starters, there is no nudity), so I think that classification comes strictly based on its title. Also, for some reason it's listed as a comedy on several sites, despite being anything but.
The movie presents a line-up of low-lives, immoral characters and all- around unpleasant people typical for Oshima's social realist dramas. It's a dark tale of lost love, obsession, cruel ironic twists, aimless lives and a shallow, materialistic society whose members are doomed from the start. The main character is a major douche-bag, but it's not like the people around him are any better. There's a jazzy undertone reminiscent of the films of Seijun Suzuki and Kiju Yoshida, and Mariko Kaga, one of the best '60s Japanese actresses, appears as the female lead. All in all, pretty good, but the story's potential is greater than its realization. Also, the colors are really washed up, which particularly ruins the night scenes.