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 Corrie class trip #2: Nanami: The Inferno of First Love 
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Post Corrie class trip #2: Nanami: The Inferno of First Love

For this trip, we go to new wave Japan, an era of Japanese cinema that doesn't seem to have an end in sight for quality cinema yet, something someone else wrote about it -

Exhibited to some recognition at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1968, Hani Susumu's Inferno of First Love, (sometimes also known as Nanami) is a brilliant, unforgettable, and sensitive film. Working from a script by playwright, and experimental filmmaker, Terayama Shuji, Hani's film captures Shun, an orphan, who falls in love with a pretty young nude model named Nanami, with his sexual inadequacies, problem childhood, and coming of age.

Examining Shun, we see the reality of child molestation, with deep scars that ripple into adulthood, exposing the twin monsters of repression and inadequacy looming overhead. Shun's complex relationship with his parents, Nanami, and a young girl named Momi he befriends, eventually lead to disaster, as society closes in, so does fate. Emotionally painful as it is lyrical, Hani has crafted an amazing film that sees into the souls of this young man and woman, and is truly a record of first love.

Desser said that, along with Oshima's The Man Who Left His Will On Film and Yoshida's Eros Plus Massacre, these films "stand as elegies, not only to the new wave of the cinema, but to the era of the '60s in Japan."

Sounds mighty intriguing to me. Let's get some people to watch and then talk about it in a week next Saturday.

And some caps I grabbed from skimming through the film.
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Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:33 pm
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I'm keen! And yay I already have this (but haven't seen it) :P

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Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:36 pm
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say o nara

o o


Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:39 pm
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Had that for a while. I'll watch it in the next few days.

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Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:48 pm
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I'd totally join since this seems like something I'd join, but I'm notoriously awful at meeting obligations of this sort, especially given that my lust for cinema has dulled a bit over the past several months.

tl;dr would join, but am too much of a fucker

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Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:53 pm
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B-Side wrote:
I'd totally join since this seems like something I'd join, but I'm notoriously awful at meeting obligations of this sort, especially given that my lust for cinema has dulled a bit over the past several months.

tl;dr would join, but am too much of a fucker

Light that fire then, fucker.


Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:13 pm
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Bandy Greensacks wrote:
Had that for a while. I'll watch it in the next few days.

:oops:

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Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:37 pm
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As a side note, I have no clue if this has a region 1 dvd or not (for netflix), but it's not really a concern of mine, someone should check though.


Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:52 pm
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Colonel Kurz wrote:
:oops:


We can always watch it now!

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Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:56 pm
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I'm in.

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Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:47 pm
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Will probably forget all about this, but I subscribe!

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Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:33 am
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Bandy Greensacks wrote:

We can always watch it now!

I'll be at the IFFR watching films until and including that saturday though.

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Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:15 am
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Post Re: Corrie class trip #2: Nanami: The Inferno of First Love

Who is ready?


Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:16 am
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I will watch this tonight, which is yesterday in your country

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Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:20 am
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My body is ready

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Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:40 am
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Almost finished watching this

:up:

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Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:09 am
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This was magnificent but not necessarily in ways I can comprehend straight away.

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Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:51 am
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Image

This was really good. It starts off as a kind of standard boy meets girl story where the two of them seem to be heading towards a sexual encounter. But then they end up recounting their pasts to one another and it turns into this really disturbing, poignant tale of incest, misunderstood motivations and just the implications of abuse on an individual and such.

I am so stunned by this whole thing. It's both an intimate character study of these two people but also serves as a larger social commentary. Also, it's style combines these luscious Japanese New Wave visuals with some cinema verite style cinematography. And Hani really keeps the film from descending into simplistic, self-pitying melodrama. The whole thing is so sensitively handled and heartbreaking. Shun is such an unforgettable character and the film is just marvelous.

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Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:04 am
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More images

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Image Image
Image Image
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Image Image

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Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:19 am
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There are several points worth discussing, but you definitely feel Terayama's touches in this - the fragmented, subjectively driven structure of the film is Terayma-esque, but Hani Susumu's a very different filmmaker, one less concerned with creating a human kaleidoscope, a tableau of humanity, and more concerned with individual motiffs and ideas, this is expressed through Susumu's use of narration over sequences (strikingly, when the girl begins her story about getting hired to the nude studio, it's the sounds of an ocean port and her speaking, with the sequence playing underneath it) and that sets the tone for a lot of the film's sequencing and tone, very intimately concerned, the sound design is definitely of note, it's frequently very accute in singling out external noise and internalizing them with switches between character and environment - visualizing focus and stress is a frequent device the film uses.

The focus of the film, both as a sympathetic look at trauma and social standards on those trauma is interesting, it tackles a subject most films don't even think of touching, or if they do, descend and demonize in a way Susumu uses as elements of oppression and stress to the character, there's not a real sense of judgement, but it's more about gaze, observation of Shun without condemnation is what really makes the film feel special to me.


Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:21 am
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Post Re: Corrie class trip #2: Nanami: The Inferno of First Love

Good shots and thoughts, charu. I'll just add, for now, that it's one of the better edited films I've seen in quite a while. The hypnosis sequence, in particular, is gorgeous and inventive.

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Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:23 am
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Das wrote:
there's not a real sense of judgement, but it's more about gaze, observation of Shun without condemnation is what really makes the film feel special to me.

My favorite thing about the film that I didn't manage to articulate adequately. There's such sensitivity in the way Shun's situation is handled. It's such potent material that could so easily descend into characters that are just objects to be pitied but it never feels like that at all.

And yeah, that hypnosis sequence is great. He also uses sound so well/powerfully! His father whispering about his mother being out.. the mother demanding that the session come to an end.. turning into a shrill bird sound if I recall correctly?

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Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:24 am
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I think the use of sound is the star of this film. .My brain doesn't work well enough to explain why right now

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Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:25 am
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Ok Das explained it for me

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Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:26 am
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The hypnosis scene:


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Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:10 am
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More discussion, sirs and madams.


Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:16 am
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I think at its core this might be an indictment of a society that forces people to express basic human needs and urges through channels that deny adequate release, hurt others or hurt the people expressing. Nanami's sexual urges are noticed and exploited by a pornographer/pimp, Shun's manifests itself in abuse, so does his father's, his mother's need for love causes her to abandon him, the filmmaker's can only voice his cry of pain for a lost love through a film that she will never see. It's just so painfully sad, painful to see these characters hurt themselves and each other, but so beautiful in its avoidance of didacticism (which makes it seem almost un-Japanese New Wave), its deliberately counterintuitive scoring and sound design and the delicacy of its moving-image montages. I think the most powerful segments for me were when Shun described his childhood near the beginning of the film and where the woman sells "records for lonely people" in the train station and we hear the prerecorded answers overlaid over semidocumentary footage of the passersby, the guy writing "I hate my boss" on a paper bag and blowing it up etc. This may be a favourite.

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Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:16 am
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Post Re: Corrie class trip #2: Nanami: The Inferno of First Love

He was just helping her pee

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Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:17 am
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Beautifully awkward acting by the leads, manage to ground the story despite not really being the focus of our visual attention too often (the film spends so much time exploring their streams of consciousness rather than their faces).

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Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:17 am
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Post Re: Corrie class trip #2: Nanami: The Inferno of First Love

Bandy Greensacks wrote:
He was just helping her pee


It was made very ambiguous. I'm probably in the 'abuse' camp.

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Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:18 am
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Post Re: Corrie class trip #2: Nanami: The Inferno of First Love

That wouldn't be out of line with themes frequent to Terayama's own directorial work - most notably, Pastoral and Farewell to the Ark but Terayama's character's being outside society (The Boxer. Farewell to the Ark), or within only a specific group/world (Pastoral, Emperor Tomato) is something he used frequently. I think this may be one of the stronger communications of Terayama's themes though, Hani's handling of the material is excellent and certainly distinct from Terayama's approach to his themes, and I'm curious about his career (sadly, none of his other works have subs at the moment on KG)


Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:24 am
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I downloaded She and He ages ago which is supposed to be great but the quality is terribs.

Are we going to call these "Terayama's themes"? Didn't he make his first feature three years later?

If there's a Japanese point of reference this reminded me more of a toned-down Toshio Matsumoto than anyone.

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Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:26 am
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Das wrote:
I'm curious about his career (sadly, none of his other works have subs at the moment on KG)


A Tale of Africa and Bad Boys can both be watched, although the latter has one of the worst rips I've ever seen. I highly recommend A Tale of Africa, though -- it's very Denis-like, before Denis.

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Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:28 am
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snapper wrote:
I downloaded She and He ages ago which is supposed to be great but the quality is terribs.

Are we going to call these "Terayama's themes"? Didn't he make his first feature three years later?

If there's a Japanese point of reference this reminded me more of a toned-down Toshio Matsumoto than anyone.

Terayama wrote the film, and had been writing screenplays for almost 8 years at that point, he was an active writer for the stage before he started making films as well - many of the ideas we tend to see in his films were already quite well formed by Nanami.


Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:30 am
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Terayama was writing films in the early '60s, and judging by his early work, he might have done the most to influence the Japanese New Wave as a whole.

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Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:32 am
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I guess you should coin toss to see whether Bandy or Charu picks the next one...

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Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:33 am
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Yeah - hopefully better turn-out next time. I hope others see it and discuss it, but bandy and char were on time so..

Heads or tails, one of you?


Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:35 am
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Post Re: Corrie class trip #2: Nanami: The Inferno of First Love

I say Charu takes tails, because she's a woman

Also, I'll gladly discuss this more when other people participate. A lot of what I wanted to say has already been said, though.

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Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:36 am
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I support continuing to pick films that are under 2 hours

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Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:37 am
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Post Re: Corrie class trip #2: Nanami: The Inferno of First Love

3 tails, 2 heads later.

Charulata gets to pick next film.


Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:41 am
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She contributed a lot more than I did, so I'm kind of glad she gets to pick. BETTER BE A GOOD FILM, THOUGH.

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Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:45 am
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Oh, yay! So I post my pick next Saturday (02/09) and we discuss the Saturday after (02/16), y?

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Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:10 am
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That's the way.


Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:38 am
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Super late to the party, but I did watch this, thanks to charulata, and it's beautiful! I love the layered effect of the sounds and montages, flashbacks and filters... so intense. I could barely take those early scenes of his abandonment. The hypnosis scene almost isn't needed, since we were already so deep into his consciousness, though it's a great scene, and I suppose it saved a little time. And I think I agree with Bandy about the ambiguous graveyard scene, based mostly on his subsequent scene with Momi, although it's complicated, for sure. Such a depressing take on society! That laughing class. :(

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Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:18 am
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Late, late, late, but fucking brill.

Will post more later.

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Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:04 pm
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JediMoonShyne wrote:

Will post more later.

I'm holding you to this.


Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:53 pm
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Goddammit I'm pissed at myself for missing this and not participating, especially since this movie sounds great >:|

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Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:05 pm
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The Butcher wrote:
Goddammit I'm pissed at myself for missing this and not participating, especially since this movie sounds great >:|

Watch it and talk about it here anyway.

Only thing you don't get is your name in the hat for next film, but Char already won the honors to that.


Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:07 pm
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Das wrote:
Watch it and talk about it here anyway.

Only thing you don't get is your name in the hat for next film, but Char already won the honors to that.


Cool, I'll download it tonight and try to watch/discuss tomorrow( I guess technically today since it's 2 am).

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Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:11 pm
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charulata wrote:
It starts off as a kind of standard boy meets girl story where the two of them seem to be heading towards a sexual encounter.

This is what really drew me into the film and is kind of a reference point for the rest of what happens. I mean, it's their honesty that allows us to relate more to Shun and Nanami than the loud, accusatory, ultimately corrupt world that exists outside their hotel room. This is touched upon from the very beginning of the film, in which an intrusive lady that we can only assume owns the hotel asks rather aggressively if the couple will be wanting a bath. Shun and Nanami are virtually told what to do by the older lady: to wash and to make themselves comfortable. Convention also requires that they have sex, but the pair defy this by exploring an intimacy that isn't physical. Donald Richie has pointed out this theme of "collective tradition versus freedom" as integral to Hani's work, which I'll admit I'm not at all familiar with. He also writes that Shun and Nanami's "voyage to experience finds its central statement in the desperate sincerity of the young people and in the machinations ofa society which threatens and eventually does overwhelm them."

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Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:50 am
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