“Narayama” director passes

For me, the Shohei Imamura film that seeped in deeper than the others was The Ballad of Narayama. The 1983 film is concisely summed up in this IMDB sentence: “In a small village in a valley everyone who reaches the age of 70 must leave the village and go to a certain mountain top to die.” Not what I’d call an enjoyable or soothing film, but an unforgettably strong one. I’m mentioning this because of the news of Mr. Imamura’s death from cancer, at age 79.

5 thoughts on ““Narayama” director passes

  1. john Santo on said:

    This is a real shame. If you haven’t seen The Eel or Dr. Akagi, I highly recomend them.
    I doubt his death will allow some his other films to see a DVD release, but it would be nice.
    The best of these being “The Insect Woman” and “A Man Vanishes.” A Man Vanishes is an incredible “documentary”. I won’t ruin it so I’ll leave it at that if you can find it.

  2. Aww….his films of recent years haven’t been up to his greatest period around the 60′s to the 80′s but at his best I think he was one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.
    Everyone SHOULD see “Vengeance is Mine” (ONLY the wide screen version)- which I think is his masterpiece.
    Other great films not mentioned above are “Pigs and Battleships” and – though slow going at times – “Intentions of Murder”.
    He was a filmmaker who used despairing black humor to dig into the ugliest and most savage aspects of human society, but in refusing to ‘judge’ people usually scorned as villians or outcasts – his films are like rueful celebrations of people in all their variety.
    He was reallly one of a kind.

  3. RIP
    One of the great filmmakers of the twentieth century–his The Ballad of Narayama and Pigs and Battleships are simply astonishing, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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