Getting to the Bottom of Imamura

May 21, 2009

With its madcap mixture of the political and the, uh, porcine, Shohei Imamura’s Pigs and Battleships is a strange (and strangely satisfying) beast indeed. To better understand where the director was coming from when he made this breakthrough work, we turned to venerable cinema scholar Tony Rayns, who contextualizes it historically and thematically in a video interview contained in our new DVD box set Pigs, Pimps & Prostitutes, which includes Pigs as well as Imamura’s two follow-ups, the equally eccentric The Insect Woman and Intentions of Murder. Here’s an excerpt from that interview, illustrated with clips, in which Rayns recounts the years from Imamura’s apprenticeship at Shochiku to his move to the more radical, youth-oriented Nikkatsu, which led to Pigs and the subsequent works.

Getting to the Bottom of Imamura