Pleasures of the Flesh | Chicago Reader

Pleasures of the Flesh

In its handling of lust, obsession, and the annihilating power of sex, this 1965 Japanese drama by Nagisa Oshima prefigures his notorious In the Realm of the Senses (1976) without getting nearly as close to oblivion. A teacher (Katsuo Nakamura), tortured by his lust for a former student (Mariko Kaga), comes into possession of a suitcase full of embezzled cash. When she marries a wealthy businessman, the teacher is devastated and decides to blow the money on a series of expensive mistresses before killing himself. The crime-story mechanics keep this moving, but Oshima is clearly more interested in the bedroom scenes, all perched on the knife's edge between desire and dread. In Japanese with subtitles. 90 min.

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