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STRANGULATION

Japan, 1979 (MIFF 1980, Programme 68)

Director: Kaneto Shindo

Kaneto Shindo has been represented at previous Melbourne Film Festivals by such diverse works as The Island and Kuroneko and his latest film again veers off into a new area, the high-powered domestic melodrama.

His film opens violently with a son drunkenly rolling through a home until the bewildered father decides to kill him. From this time the film flashes back to describe the family's life leading to this moment and then beyond to the sickening reality of a mother who cannot bear to be without her son.

Shindo's description of middle class life in Japan and his acute depiction of family violence resulting from the ambition and indulgence of parents is handled most powerfully. This is a bitter indictment of the success-oriented values of this class. There is a particularly cogent scene where adolescents are interviewed about a fellow classmate's death and in their denial of responsibility, one can feel a savage criticism of the national ethos.

This cold and provocative film will not be to everyone's taste, but it does contain enough truth and insight to be continually engrossing.

See also...

KURONEKO

Two women, raped and killed by barbarian samurai, have become vampires. They lure samurai into a country hut with promises of love and then, in vengeance against all samurai, tear their throats open ... More »

HOKUSAI MANGA

The film describes the life of Hokusai, the famous woodblock print artist well known for his "36 Views of Mt Fuji", who lived during the latter half of the Edo period of Japan Among all his woodblock ... More »

THE ISLAND

On the tiny arid island in the Sea of Seto, a family of four—a man and his wife and their two small children, Taro and Jiro — are the sole inhabitants. The land is hard and unyielding yet ... More »

Brain Sox

A song about a medium, about a way of life, videotism. ... More »

Building

Building shows a metamorphosis of the corner of 54th Street, from the demolition of a factory, the inevitable parking lot, then a new building. ... More »

DEMON POND

A stranger appears in a drought stricken area His appearance is greeted with mysterious suspicion. He arrives deep in the mountains and encounters a beautiful woman He notices that the river flows ... More »

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