Pigs and Battleships (Imamura, 1961): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 8.30pm
This film, which is screening as part of the Japanese film Seasons in the Sun season at BFI Southbank, is also being shown on June 8th. You can find the details here.
Time Out review:
Shohei Imamura's fifth film kicks off with hordes of uniformed American sailors
running rampant through the neon lit streets of Yokosuka, and closes
with a stampede of pigs doing much the same: a rather wonderful
bracketing device pinpointing the twin poles of the slum town's economic
life. Kinta (Nagato), like every other young punk in town, has his
heart set on making a favourable impression with the gangsters, whose
main racket involves exploiting the local pig trade. By contrast his
girlfriend Haruko (Yoshimura) is one of the few women to think twice
about prostituting herself to the steady influx of Yanks flush with
money and booze. She wants them both to quit town while they can. Around
this familiar set-up Imamura spins a hectic, furious portrait of a
melting pot of deadend low-lives, which, with its restless tracking and
panning shots, high contrast 'Scope photography and gothic secondary
characters, recalls the corrupt, sweaty universe captured by Welles in Touch of Evil.
Imamura plays fast and loose with the plotting (he likes his films
'messy'), but if some of the finer narrative details are opaque, the
over-arching vision of life as a meat market is abundantly clear.
Here is the trailer.