VIENNA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: OCTOBER 25 – NOVEMBER 8, 2018

KôSHIKEI

V' 03

KôSHIKEI

Tod Durch Erhängen

ôshima Nagisa
Japan, 1968
119min, OmeU

KôSHIKEI

ôshima Nagisa
Japan, 1968
, 119min, OmeU

Actors: 
Yun Yun-Do
Todeskandidat R
Satô Kei
Gefängnisdirektor
Watanabe Fumio
Leiter der Bildungsabteilung
Ishidô Toshirô
Priester
Adachi Masao
Sicherheitschef
Toura Rokkô
Arzt
Matsuda Masao
Sekretär der Staatsanwaltschaft
Komatsu Hôsei
Staatsanwalt
Koyama Akiko
Frau
Ôshima Nagisa
Erzähler
Ueno Takashi
Wärter
Satô Shizuo
Wärter
Hoshi Masayuki
Ôsaka Yuki
Ozeki Daiji
Sakurai Keiko
Suzuki Kurumi
Terashima Akiko
Usui Takao

Production: 
Produktion Sôzôsha, Art Theatre Guild of Japan
World Sales: 
Distribution in Austria: 
35mm/1:1,85/Schwarzweiß

With <i>Kôshikei</i> (Death by Hanging), we have perhaps the first Japanese film which makes explicit the affinities between the national cinemas chief historical tendencies and a Marxist concept of a reflexively critical representation, first given theoretical form by Brecht and now, in the West and in Japan, central to the issue of the relationship of the performing arts to the class struggle.
Even this capsule summary should suggest one of the films major aspects: a remarkable discrepancy in «levels of reality». And indeed, with reference to nearly every parameter, a cascade of shifts from coded realism to theatricality and back again becomes an essential structural principle.
Closely associated with the structuring of these different levels of theatricality and «reality», but in no way a direct or linear expression of it, is a movement in the mode of <i>découpage. </i>The film begins with the presentation of three successive, wholly coded modes, in which editing and shot design obey the laws of distinct genres: the «objective» documentary, the militant propaganda film, and then, with the introduction of dialogue, the «normal» fiction film. As the absurd, legalistic logic begins to take over and as the first signs of theatricality appear, there is the beginning of a more mechanical formalization: long, single-take sequences separated by abrupt ellipses. This series is followed by another in which each cut takes us systematically away from the centre of the action, and then, as the shot proceeds, a pan following some secondary action will lead us back to that centre. Ultimately, through a series of subtle variations on and combinations of these various modes, more or less «arbitrary», more or less «natural», we move to the climactic sequence in which the camera pans continually and obtrusively from R and his sister lying nude under the Japanese flag, to the haggard officials surrounding them, who are embroiling themselves ever deeper in their legal and patriotic casuistics.
(Noël Burch, «To the Distant Observer», Berkeley: University of California Press 1979, pp. 334339)