Pleasures of the Flesh (1965) Etsuraku

Pleasures of the Flesh (1965) Etsuraku

Pleasures of the Flesh (1965)
WEB-Dl 1080p | MKV | 1920x1080 | x264 @ 12,5 Mbps | 91 min | 8,11 Gb
Audio: 日本語 AC3 2.0 @ 224 Kbps | Subs: English (embedded in MKV)
Genre: Crime, Drama

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Writers: Fûtarô Yamada (novel), Nagisa Ôshima (screenplay)
Stars: Katsuo Nakamura, Mariko Kaga, Yumiko Nogawa

A corrupt businessman blackmails the lovelorn reprobate Atsushi into watching over his suitcase full of embezzled cash while he serves a jail sentence. Rather than wait for the man to retrieve his money, however, Atsushi decides to spend it all in one libidinous rush – fully expecting to be tracked down and killed. Oshima’s dip into the waters of the popular soft-core “pink film” genre is a compelling journey into excess.


What looks first like a thriller (after the murder of a man who raped one of his students, a young teacher finds himself blackmailed into hiding a huge some of money) turns into an exploration of greed and sexual exploitation by one of the less politically correct Japanese directors, Nagisa Oshima, as the hero succumbs to his baser impulses and decides to spend the money on indulging his every (often sensual) impulse - planning to commit suicide when the cash runs out. "Pleasures of the Flesh" sees Oshima first embrace of the themes of sexuality, sadism and obsession that characterize his later works. I see "Pleasures of the Flesh" as the turning point in Oshima's career, a cross between his early films, like "The Sun's Burial" or "A Cruel Story of Youth" with young criminals who exploit each other for money and enact transgressive fantasies, or "Night and Fog in Japan" with its political plot, and later films, like the famous "Realm of the Senses", and their sadomasochist tales of sex and death. Oshima is obviously already at work pushing the limits of what can be shown on screen and what can be said on the power of sex and money, on the perversion of love and capitalism. It is one of the most pessimistic works from the director. Everything is corrupt : the young girl the hero falls for (and kills for) proves to be not so innocent in the end, sex (which is a way to humiliate people), love (which only leads to frustration and guilt), money (a delusion), society (dominating and repressive). As "Pleasures of the Flesh" seems to embody most of Oshima's favorite themes, I would recommend it, but don't expect a "likeable" film with "likeable" characters. But after all, this is all too typical of Oshima's manner ! Has he ever filmed romantic stories and sweet people ?
(click to enlarge)
Pleasures of the Flesh (1965) Etsuraku
Pleasures of the Flesh (1965) Etsuraku
Pleasures of the Flesh (1965) Etsuraku
Pleasures of the Flesh (1965) Etsuraku
Pleasures of the Flesh (1965) Etsuraku
Pleasures of the Flesh (1965) Etsuraku

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