Probably less of a political allegory than it's made out to be in several reviews I've read, although Oshima's jaundiced view of Japanese society does come through loud and clear. To me it was more of a human story, seen through the eyes of the childlike innocent Masuo, about the strange and fascinating relationships that develop within a powerful, patriarchal, and (literally) incestuous family. The movie starts out with a brief conversation about what it means to be a relative, "just someone you see at weddings and funerals", which reveals itself to be deeply ironic. The narrative largely unfolds around a series of family ceremonies in which the lives of central character, Masuo, and his cousins Ritsuko and Teramichi intertwine thickly and darkly. Much has been said about the famous scene in which Masuo is made to go through with a wedding to an absent bride (featuring the tallest wedding cake ever seen on film), but for me the most memorable scene was when Grandfather gives Aunt Satsuko to grandson Teramichi to initiate him, as Masuo, who is obsessed with her, looks on. Akiko Koyama as Satsuko becomes an otherworldly being before our eyes as she gently directs the process. One of the most perfect and beautiful sex scenes I've seen. In the end it is masterfully echoed in a scene between Masuo and Ritsuko, but with a disturbingly different connotation -- actually referring back to young Masuo's belief that he can hear the cries of the baby brother he says was buried alive when he and his mother fled Manchuria. Like most or all Oshima films, The Ceremony goes off on tangents, backwards and forwards in time, from realism to hyper-reality, and drama to comedy (particularly with a certain nicely/oddly placed spurting-blood effect), and maybe doesn't hold together as well as some of his other work, but it's definitely ambitious, brilliantly acted, brimming over with ideas, wise, bleak and despairing but also playful and darkly comedic.
Comedy / Drama
Comedy / Drama
Upon receiving a shocking telegram from his cousin, a man recounts his early life, as a member of a broad family full of dark secrets that slowly reveal themselves through the clan ceremonies.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
February 13, 2021 at 03:16 AM