Nejiko, A sex-obsessed young woman wonders the streets looking for someone to fulfill her carnal desires. She comes across Otoko, a military deserter who is ready to embrace death himself. The two stick together coming across a group of gangsters who take them against their will to an underground compound where they join a group of young prisoners, all of which are somewhat obsessed with violence around them. Nagisa Oshima's Japanese Summer: Double Suicide is a complex, surreal film that doesn't have much of a plot to speak of. The companionship between Neiko and Otoko is clear but while most directors would romanticize this bond, Oshima isn't interested in this, rather showing how these characters will never be together because of their own selfish tendencies, which just don't intermingle. In fact, almost all of the characters in Japanese Summer: Double Suicide are selfish individuals only out for themselves. Neiko is only interested in erotic fulfillment for example, while many of the characters are entranced by guns and violence looking at it as an almost romanticized light. This is a film in which the smaller details are not particularly significant, as the overarching statement which Oshima wishes to make about cultures obsession with violence is what ultimately stands out. Oshima is very critical about this romanticism of violence, particularly in the youth culture, showing these various characters entranced by it all. While I found the film interesting it was a little too disjointed and unengaged at times, a problem I seem to have with some of Oshima's work. The ending is probably the only emotionally powerful scene in the film and while it does standout, I was hoping for more of a connection. As usual, Oshima's style is intoxicating, creating a dream-like atmosphere for this tale about culture and violence, though I do wish it could have had a little more emotional substance.
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