Orphans vs. A Good Hog Trampling


A voice from our audience pipes up with interesting commentary about recently screened films in the Imamura series.  The third film, “My Second Brother” is here contrasted with Monday’s film, “Pigs and Battleships.”

Modesty requires that the aforementioned audience member remain anonymous.

“My Second Brother was ok, but had a  cartoonish, “Mayberry”  quality to the characters. Everyone was struggling, but noble and always-willing to help. Everyone was one-dimensional. The only character that had any depth, the ostensibly  evil old crone, was at times amiable, even likeable,  certainly more  for comic relief than anything else.

Pigs and Battleships also   portrayed people on the edge of poverty, in a post-feudal world that  hadn’t  modernized yet. But, unlike Second Brother, it was populated by  the venal and  avaricious, the cruel and psychopathic, the murderous,  the foolish, the  bumbling idiots, the desperate, beaten sex workers  and a lovely co-star who  wasn’t merely impure she was not unwilling to  be a whore. The Americans were  portrayed as boorish, violent oafs who  treated the women as sexual chattel or  were grifters who predictably  abandoned and ripped off their Japanese  co-criminals who then  proceeded to betray each other. The protagonist was  likeable even  adorable (the lead in Stolen Desire and Second Brother) but he  was a  stupid, foolish man with a streak of hubris that would have made   Demosthenes happy. There was the father, a loser, a drunk and an  embarrassment  to his son. It had a gun fight and best of all it had  death by hog  trampling!”

The careful film-goer will note that we have plenty of stupid, hubris-streaked, Demosthenes-pleasing characters in the weeks to come.  I am unsure  how many hog tramplings are included.

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