The Ceremony

1971 [JAPANESE]

Comedy / Drama

0
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 924

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
February 13, 2021 at 03:16 AM

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720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.1 GB
1280*544
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 2 min
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2.04 GB
1920*816
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 2 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by sbrizzi 7 / 10

Weddings and Funerals

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.

Reviewed by fc-yml 8 / 10

a Japanese high middle class clan after the 2nd world war

I have seen this film in the late eighties, together with other Oshima's movies and I could collect only a vague impression of exoticism. This before I visited Japan, where I currently live.

I have seen it again last night and I can confirm that "Gishiki" portrays some of the most specific aspects of the Japanese culture. It is a movie deeply ingrained with the rebellion against traditional culture and family, which is typical of the late sixties-early seventies, not only in Japan, but also in Europe. The same can be said of the use of sexuality as a powerful device to offset the established values.

The powerful Sakurada clan is brought to ruin by the same force that keeps it together, the powerful grandfather. This happens in a sequence of rigidly choreographed family reunions, in occasions of funerals and weddings spanning several years following the end of the world. In this sense the world of the Sakuradas is so traditional that many scenes could be set in medieval Japan, with minor modifications in the dialogs and costumes. Ritual suicides and uncompassioned sex are recurring estranging events which follow and precede these ceremonies.

At the end what has been taken away from the protagonist is his very childhood, and hence his possibility to exist as a human being.

Reviewed by sharptongue 9 / 10

Surreal and wild satire

I hardly know where to start in describing this film. The story is told in flashback, as a conversation. From memory, there are about five flashback episodes, the longest covering the wedding of a young man, where the bride fails to show but the wedding proceeds. The young man continues the farce by attempting to have sex with a large pillow which he calls "darling".

The remainder of the film is just as weird, but I found it completely engrossing. Oshima appears to be attacking many aspects of Japanese modern culture with his scalpel-sharp satirical wit.

Not a film for everyone, but highly recommended nevertheless.

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