Nagisa Oshima's Violence at Noon is the story of a violent rapist, Eisuke, as seen through the eyes of his wife and one of his victims, Shino. The film begins with Eisuke encountering Shino, who works as a maid. There paths have crossed in the past, as Eisuke saved a coworker of Shino's who worked on a failed collective farm, only to rape her soon after. Eisuke is a serial rapist with a clear pattern of assaults, but the police have trouble identifying the man due to little cooperation from witnesses, including Shino. Instead of working with the police, Shino contacts Matsuko, the wife of Eisuke, in an effort to expose this man's true nature. Nagisa Oshima's Violence at Noon is a complex, frustrating film that raises more questions than answers. Oshima's film is a incendiary commentary on the porous living conditions in Japan, arguing that these conditions are just as responsible for this man's sexual assaults as Eisuke himself. A study of a serial killer's perversions of sex and violence that's certainly fascinating, though it never quite achieves the greatness of some of his other work. The editing and shot compositions are the high point of the film, using an array of editing techniques that jar the viewer and create a truly unique atmosphere. While I can't even pretend to grasp everything Oshima was trying to say, Violence at Noon is a fascinating study of the relationship between sex and violence, but personally I can't say it reaches the same level of clarity and resolve as some of his other films.
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