Nagisa Oshima and the Struggle for a Radical Cinema
An unflinchingly iconoclastic and ceaselessly inventive filmmaker, Nagisa Oshima (1932- ) has scorched an indelible path across postwar Japanese cinema. Oshima is one of Japan’s original outlaw masters – a rebellious and instinctively anti-establishment artist whose apprentice work bears a resemblance to the films of such contemporary enfant terribles as Sejun Suzuki (1923- ), Koji Wakamatsu (1936- ) and Kiju Yoshida (1933- ), maverick and fiercely independent directors who, like Oshima, all began under studio contracts. Oshima quickly established himself as one of the most politically committed and driven filmmakers of his generation, beginning with the remarkable elegy to the failed student-led protest movement offered by his controversial third feature, Night and Fog in Japan (1960), which was almost immediately pulled from theatrical distribution by his studio, Shochiku, and banned from public and private exhibition.
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