Kamigami no fukaki yokubô (1968)
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- Profound Desires of the Gods
- 173 min.
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Astounding achievement in filmmaking! Exploring themes of tradition versus modernism, nature & technology, individuality/conformity, superstition/reason, etc. Imamura delved into the depths of human nature, ultimately revealing how quickly most people are to conform to the rules and conduct governed in a society. A brilliant film with highly thought-provoking content and beautiful cinematography...ranks among the finest use of color in the 1960's. A shame it's not wider known.
Shōhei Imamura's Profound Desires of the Gods is a gorgeous-looking film, even if some audiences will find the subject matter a little hard to take. A three-hour epic about a cursed inbred family, where brothers and sisters (one of whom is mentally disabled) are always trying to get into each other's pants, is not for everyone. The film is really about the interchangeability of animals, people, and gods. As an engineer comes to the island to transform it into a profitable venue - or will it transform HIM? - the theme becomes manifest. Like the brother and sister gods of the local mythology, he is bound to remake the world, but could also get other gods angry. Throughout, people may be gods, or they may be animals, and so on. The perspective shifts, just what's real, surreal and supernatural does. In the end, it's also a story about the modern world crashing into an older one, and one cycle ending in destruction and rebirth. But the new world may not be as fluid as the previous one was, which seems a shame. Imamura's eulogy for that world?
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In 5 official lists
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This movie ranks #74 in Kinema Junpo Top Japanese Films
This movie ranks #134 in Asian Cinema: A Field Guide
This movie ranks #145 in Masters Of Cinema
This movie ranks #162 in iCM Forum's 500<400
This movie ranks #1050 in Doubling the Canon