Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Jigoku (the title on film in Western letters) / Hell. JP 1960. PC: Shintoho. D: Nobuo Nakagawa. DP: Morita Mamoru - Eastmancolor - Shintohoscope 1:2,35. Starring Shigeru Amachi (Shiro Shimizu), Yoichi Numata (Tamura), Utako Mitsuya (Yukiko / Sachiko). 101 min. A National Film Center (Tokyo) print with English subtitles viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 30 September 2008. - A duped print with blurred colour. - A crazy ambience from the start: stylized, almost abstract images, song, pantomime, flames of hell. During the credits there are soft-core sex images of the luscious stripper, reminding us of the lust of the flesh. The theology professor lectures about hell in ancient religions, including Hinduism. Shiro is tormented by a demonic friend, Tamura. Last night, Shiro has been the passenger in the car driven by Tamura, and in a hit-and-run accident, a member of the yakuza ("Tiger Kyoichi of the Gondo Syndicate") has been killed. The yakuza's stripper-girlfriend swears revenge. As Shiro takes a taxi with his girlfriend Yokio to report to the police, there is another accident, and Yokio, who is pregnant, dies. - Interesting music: a selection of Bach's piano work, and jazz piano. - I saw the first 20 minutes only. - I missed the legendary last third in Hell.

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