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Directors in Focus: Nagisa Oshima

Death by Hanging

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Wednesday 5/27
7:00 pm
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dir. Nagisa Oshima, Japan, 1968, 35mm, Japanese w/ English subtitles, 117 min.

In Japan, a young Korean man (Do-yun Yu) rapes and kills two girls and is then sentenced to hang. This punishment has no effect on the culprit other than amnesia, leaving the prison warden (Kei Satô) and chief of guards (Masao Adachi) stunned. The lawmen decide that they must show the convict why they're taking his life, so, with the help of their underlings, they begin to act out the prisoner's crimes. But they enjoy stepping into his shoes, which further complicates things.

Directors in Focus: Nagisa Oshima
Often called the Godard of the East, the esteemed Japanese director Nagisa Oshima was one of the most provocative film artists of the twentieth century, and his works challenged and shocked the cinematic world for decades. Following his rise to prominence at Shochiku, Oshima struck out to form his own production company, Sozo-sha, in the early sixties. That move ushered in the prolific period of his career that gave birth to the five films collected here. Unsurprisingly, this studio renegade was fascinated by stories of outsiders—serial killers, rabid hedonists, and stowaway misfits are just some of the social castoffs you’ll meet in these audacious, cerebral entries in the New Wave surge that made Japan a hub of truly daredevil moviemaking. As part of IHP’s continuing programming of the Janus Collection, we are pleased to offer these five newly restored 35mm gems to our audiences.