In Nagisa Oshima, the Walker has found an artist whose work on the screen resonates with Kudo’s work in the galleries.
For someone unfamiliar with Japanese society in the ’60s and ’70s — the environment we are told shaped Kudo’s work — “In the Realm of Oshima” may provide some helpful context. Oshima began his film career in 1959, and the majority of his lifetime output was concentrated in the next two decades.
Oshima’s movies are hard to come by in the U.S. (just a few are available on Netflix, for instance), but he is acclaimed as an influential and innovative filmmaker in Japan. “Infamous” is the adjective offered in the Walker’s press materials on the film series, referring specifically to “In the Realm of the Senses,” whose explicit sex and violence scandalized audiences in 1976.
Other films in the series explore themes of crime, postwar radicalism and inter-generational conflict. Oshima documents a society in flux.
“Taboo,” Oshima’s 1999 film about a gay samurai, opens the series Nov. 5. Show up early for comments from curator James Quandt of Cinematheque Ontario, who researched and assembled the retrospective.
Go see it
“In the Realm of Oshima: The Films of Japanese Master Nagisa Oshima” runs Nov. 5–23 at the Walker Art Center.