On Oshima

Mar 15, 2011

Fans of Nagisa Oshima will be interested to hear that critic Jonathan Rosenbaum has posted on his blog his entire 2008 Artforum essay “The Sun Also Sets,” which was also reprinted in his 2010 book Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia. In it, Rosenbaum offers his thoughts on the iconoclastic director, whom he calls “arguably the best-known but least understood proponent of the Japanese New Wave that came to international prominence in the 1960s and ’70s,” touching on his detestation of all aspects of Japanese cinema (including the hallowed foursome of Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, Ozu, and Naruse), his rebel image and staunch independence from the studio system, his obsession with “aggressive or outlaw eroticism,” and the oddness of his second career, as a television talk-show host (“something like a Japanese Oprah Winfrey”), a fact unknown to many of his admirers outside of Japan. As always, Rosenbaum also offers a feast of images to accompany the piece.