Saturday, October 9, 2010

Vengeance is Mine (1979)

I watched another one of Roger's picks for his Great Movies III Book. This was a very, very disturbing movie based a true story about a serial killer on the run in 1960's Japan. the movie is filled with sex and violence.

The movie, directed by Shohei Imamura, is beautifully filmed and has great style. The movie jumps from the present to the past as the serial killer, Iwao Enokizu, looks back at the events of his life with a calm detachment.

One event, when he is very young shows a naval officer embarrassing his Catholic father in from of the village. From then on we see a very angry young man who turns in a sociopath. Is the vengeance he is taking on the world because of the incident involving his father?

The movie has a Hitchcockian feel and tone. It is disturbing the same way many of Hitchcock's movies were. It is also disturbing because we find ourselves identifying with the psycho killer. We never really find out what makes Enokizu tick. In some ways it reminded me of No Country for Old Men. Evil is out there and you maybe unlucky and run in to it : there is nothing you can really do about it.

A very good movie. One of the "Greats?" Maybe.