In The Realm Of The Senses (L'Empire Des Sens)

Featured In Issue 141, July/August 2009

WSR Score3
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
The Criterion Collection
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Not Rated
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Single Side, Single Layer (BD-25)
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Nagisa Oshima
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In The Realm Of The Senses (Ai no corrida), by the always provocative Japanese director Nagisa Oshima, remains one of the most controversial films of all time. Based on a true incident, it graphically depicts the all-consuming, transcendentóbut ultimately destructiveólove of a man and a woman (Fuji & Matsuda) living in an era of ever-escalating imperialism and governmental control. Less a work of pornography than of politics, the film is a brave, taboo-breaking milestone, still censored in its own country. (Tricia Spears)

Special features include commentary by Film Historian and Critic Tony Rayns; interviews with Oshima and his actors (HD 05:38), Tatsuya Fuji (HD 17:18), and a "Recalling The Film" interview (HD 38:48); deleted footage (HD 12:30); the
U.S. trailer; and a booklet.

The 1080p AVC picture has been transferred from a 35 mm interpositive. The imagery is pristine due to the digital removal of thousands of instances of dirt, debris, and scratches. The picture is nicely rendered with rich, warm hues and deep blacks. Contrast is excellent, and shadow delineation is revealing of fine detail in the backgrounds. Fleshtones are rendered accurately throughout. Resolution also is excellent and reveals fine facial features and textures in clothing and structures. This is a beautiful picture to appreciate. (Gary Reber)

The monaural linear PCM soundtrack was remastered at 24-bit/48 kHz from an optical soundtrack negative. As a monaural soundtrack, it is undistinguished. (Gary Reber)