The First time I made a film in color… I imposed a small taboo on myself internally. It was to never shoot the color green.
Nagisa Oshima is generally regarded as the most important Japanese film director after Kurosawa and is one of Japan’s most productive and celebrated postwar artists. His early films represent the Japanese New Wave at its zenith, and the films he has made since (including In the Realm of the Senses and Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence) have won international acclaim. The more than 40 writings that make up this intellectual autobiography reveal a rare conjunction of personal candor and political commitment. Entertaining, concise, disarmingingly insightful, they trace in vivid and carefully articulated detail the development of 0shima’s theory and practice.
The writings are arranged in chronological order and cover the period from the mid-1950s to the late 1970s. Following a historical overview of contemporary Japanese cinema, a substantial section articulates the theoretical and political rationale of 0shima’s own film production, which he sees as being profoundly influenced by the social formation and political processes of postwar Japan. Among many other topics considered in his essays, Oshima questions the economics of film production, the ethics of the documentary film, censorship (both political and sexual), and the relation of aesthetics and social taboos. A filmography and notes round out this important collection.