Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
Find out how here
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
New Imitation Game Trailer Lands Online
Benedict Cumberbatch's Enigma variations
Warner Bros. Planning I Am Legend Reboot
For a new, Will Smith-free franchise
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1982)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Nagisa Ôshima Has Died
Mr. Lawrence director was 80

15 January 2013  |  Written by Phil de Semlyen  

submit to reddit

Nagisa Ôshima

Nagisa Ôshima, Kyoto-born screenwriter and director of Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence and the highly controversial In The Realm Of The Senses, has died. He was 80.

As a young director, Ôshima rebelled against what he saw as conventional Japanese filmmaking. He left university in his hometown of Kyoto for the esteemed Shochiku production house in Ofuna, outside Toyko. There he shrugged off the influence of the studio's roster of fêted directors - Yasujirô Ozu, Kenji Mizoguchi and Akira Kurosawa among them - to spearhead a new wave in Japanese filmmaking with films like A Town Of Love And Hope, his 1959 feature debut, The Sun's Burial and Night And Fog In Japan.

The latter showed the limits of the so-called Shochiku-Ofuna New Wave, with the studio pulling it from cinemas a mere three days after release when it was linked with the assassination of a socialist politician. Railing against the censorship, Ôshima claimed, "My film is the weapon of the people's struggle, [and] the people are demanding that the future of the Japanese film be directly tied to their own future."

Fearless and innovative, he further critiqued Japanese society with Death By Hanging and The Ceremony before controversy came calling again with 1976's In The Realm Of The Senses. Still discussed for its boundary-pushing depiction of (real) sex and sexual violence, it was heavily censored in almost every country in which it was released.

Ôshima was best known to mainstream Western audiences for his 1983 adaption of Laurens van der Post's wartime novel Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence which married the talents of diverse talents of David Bowie, Takeshi Kitano and Ryuichi Sakamoto into a POW drama that was praised for its performances despite being shot entirely without rushes (it's highly unusual for actors to be denied the chance to see how they're doing in dailies during shooting in that way).

After suffering a stroke in 1996, he returned to filmmaking three years latter with period drama Taboo, his final feature film.


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Rob Liefeld's Godyssey In Development
Comic book deal heats up
David Goyer Enters The Breach
Update: He's now set to direct as well as produce

Your Comments

RE: RE:
Sadly have only seen a couple of his films, both of which I highly rate, this should prompt me to see more. RIP. More

Posted by ElephantBoy at 17:14 on 10 February 2013 | Report This Post

RE:
Being a fan of Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence and Empire of Passion, this has made me quite sad. More

Posted by Deviation at 18:49 on 15 January 2013 | Report This Post

RIP. But what about Jon Finch?? More

Posted by harlequin21 at 14:36 on 15 January 2013 | Report This Post

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Hateful Eight - The Story So Far
We delve into the short but tangled history of Quentin Tarantino’s latest

Gallery: Unseen Star Wars Poster Concept Artwork
JW Rinzler takes us through a history of the franchise in jaw-dropping art

The Future Of Film: Lasers Will Save 3D (If Your Cinema Is Big Enough)
Big will be beautiful in the brave new world of frickin' laser beam projection

The Bond Girls Who Made It Big
The actresses who overcame the curse of 007 to forge successful careers

The Future Of Film: A Woman Will Direct Star Wars
No longer a men’s club, Hollywood is going to start opening its doors...

The Empire Podcast #130: Interviews With Rosamund Pike, Lee Child And Antoine Fuqua
The Gone Girl star, Jack Reacher author and The Equalizer director pop in for a chat

The 50 Greatest Voice Performances In Movies
Who has the most talented tonsils in town?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)