Screening Log: The Man Who Left His Will On Film (Nagisa Oshima, 1970)

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04/14/2009 3:49 PM |

[Not Mark Asch]: How was the movie?

Mark Asch:
it was… something
Digressive Barthesian thriller
(about viewers tracking down the meaning of footage following the literal death of its author)
with a bit of existential-ontological-psychological puzzler a la Blow-Up and a bit of of soft-core radical leftism a la say Koji Wakamatsu’s Ecstasy of the Angels
sorry, that sounds awesome
it’s actually ardent and sloppy and very irritating for long stretches at a time
but fucking heady in spite of it all, too

I was going to say that it sounded either amazing or like a complete disaster

surprisingly it is neither
or, rather, is both
great music, too
Toru Takemitsu
a bit Nilsson circa Midnight Cowboy, a bit dissonant
god, why is this not my favorite movie ever made?
really, really poorly acted
also the most distracting perv-stache on a japanese film protagonist since Fall Guy
or, since Fall Guy was a dozen years later, Fall Guy features the most distracting perv stache etc etc since The Man Who Left His Will on Film
lots of student-leftist faction jibber-jabber, indifferent plotting, lots of patched-together sequences, nonsequitur sex
but then, great recurrent landscape photography, genre-referencing surveillance zooms (mimicking earlier footage a la Cache) and noirish canted angles

[NMA]: are you going to write something on this for the website? it sounds like it would be hard to get everything out
and coherent
being as that it is so jumbled, apparently

MA: i might just cut and paste this
(up to and including that last sentence)

[NMA]: ah, the ichat/gchat blog post
so meta

MA: yeah, really interrogating the process with this one