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REVIEW: Oshima's "Taboo": The Gay Samurai Movie

Indiewire By Indiewire | Indiewire October 5, 2000 at 2:0AM

REVIEW: Oshima's "Taboo": The Gay Samurai Movie
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REVIEW: Oshima's "Taboo": The Gay Samurai Movie

by Brandon Judell



(indieWIRE/10.5.00) --Nagisa Oshima, 68, stroke-recovery victim and Japanese game show host, is best known on Western shores as a master filmmaker. A leading figure of the Japanese New Wave in the early 60's, he received world recognition for his ode to castration and sexual strangulation, "In the Realm of the Senses" (1976). When reels of the movie were seized by American customs just as it was to play the New York Film Festival, its reputation and financial success was ensured.


Not everyone was bowled over though. On the occasion of "In The Realm's" re-release decades later, The San Francisco Chronicle's Edward Guthman opined, "To call the film a masterpiece is way off-base. Oshima's film wouldn't be enjoying a re-release if it weren't for the fact that it shows male and female genitalia, and depicts actors in a series of sex acts -- felatio, coitus, lesbian sex, asphyxiation, sex with food