Empire of Passion
DIRECTOR: NAGISA ÔSHIMA
CAST: TATSUYA FUJI, KAZUKO YOSHIYUKI, TAKAHIRO TAMURA
After the scandal of In the Realm of the Senses, Oshima came back with an erotic vision every bit as potent, this time mixing the pleasures of the flesh with a touch of the supernatural to create a lyrical, unsettling film of passion and retribution. A woman and her younger lover plot to bump off her husband in 19th century Edo-era Japan, but the perfect crime proves less than when the late spouse’s unquiet ghost returns. Oshima’s first and only kaidan (Japanese ghost story) is an atmospheric work steeped in Eros and Thanatos, owing not a little to James M. Cain’s hard-boiled classic The Postman Always Rings Twice.