Teatro Auditorium Manzoni > 14:30


Shohei Imamura


Sunday 30/08/2020


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Fukushu suru wa ware ni ari was based on a contemporary, urban myth: that of the master criminal who violates all the laws of society with impunity, stealing, seducing, swindling, and killing his way across the country until, to put the necessary limit on this dangerous fantasy, he is caught. Based on a true story, by way of a novel by Ryuzo Saki, the film follows Iwao Enokizu (Ken Ogata) through the course of a 78-day crime spree, beginning with the brutal hammer murder of a utilities repairman (filmed in the most harrowing way imaginable: a neutral, Hawksian medium-long shot) and ending with the strangulation of his mistress, who offers herself as a willing victim while they are making love. […] Enokizu adopts a series of identities as masks to cover his personal emptiness. There is nothing in him but the restless urge to run and destroy; when he finds his own island haven, in the form of the back-street inn where his mistress works, he is compelled to destroy it, too. […] But it is Shohei Imamura’s ultimate refusal to either despise or forgive his protagonist that makes Fukushu suru wa ware ni ari a devastating experience. Like Sadako [in Imamura’s Intentions of Murder (1964)], Enokizu is beyond judgement: he is a force in the world, a fact. With The Profound Desire of the Gods (1968) and Fukushu suru wa ware ni ari, Masao Tochizawa replaced Shinsaku Himeda as Imamura’s camera- man, Himeda’s deep-focus, black-and- white compositions giving way to Tochi- zawa’s bright but shallow color style. The loss of depth in the images seems to have given Imamura a greater interest in montage as a means of maintaining his symbolic juxtapositions; the animal imagery no longer shares the frame with the characters, but appears in cutaways that interrupt the dramatic flow. At the same time, Imamura’s narrative style becomes more tortured and fragmented, as the classical unities of time and space of the early films are replaced by the discontinuous episodes of Profound Desire and the multi-level flashbacks of Fukushu suru wa ware ni ari. Psychological realism – the concentration on a single character developed in depth – is exchanged for the broad, flat characterization of folktales and popular entertainments; the conflicting elements that Imamura once portrayed in a single character are now spread out over a large ensemble cast, as society replaces the individual as the focus of his work. 

Dave Kehr, “Film Comment”, vol. XIX, n. 5, September-October 1983

Cast and Credits

Sog.: dal romanzo omonimo (1975) di Ryuzo Saki. Scen.: Masaru Baba. F.: Shinsaku Himeda, Masao Tochizawa. M.: Keiichi Uraoka. Scgf.: Teuyoshi Satani. Mus.: Shinchiro Ikebe. Int.: Ken Ogata (Iwao Enokizu), Rentarô Mikuni (Shizuo Mitsuko Baisho (Kazuko Enokizu), Mayumi Ogawa (Haru Asano). Prod.: Shochiku, Imamura Productions