The Ceremony(Forum 50)
Just as its title suggests, The Ceremony is filled with rigorously choreographed rituals of all sorts: a wedding to a non-existent bride, a funeral of a tyrannical patriarch, the attainment of adulthood through sex, and the burning of personal possessions as a sign of self-sacrifice for the greater good of his clan. Nagisa Oshima portrays all this and more as a satirical show of the absurd excesses of Japan’s stifling, xenophobic social norms, all of them embodied in the declining fortunes of a conservative, incest-addled clan. Unfolding as a string of flashbacks as the prodigal protagonist Masuo travels to his hometown to investigate a mysterious telegram about a death in the family, The Ceremony is a thinly-veiled allegory of post-WWII Japan’s distorted historical and social realities. Oshima documents his country’s ills through highly-stylised sequences filmed with static camerawork that conveys vividly the suffocating environments his characters live and die in.
Director
Nagisa Oshima
Cast
Kenzo Kawarazaki, Atsuko Kaku, Atsuo Nakamura
Release Date
10-07-2020
Language
Japanese
Run Time
122 minutes
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