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ECSTASY OF THE ANGELS
SPECTACLE THEATER
Brooklyn, NY
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Event

ECSTASY OF THE ANGELS
Dir. Wakamatsu Kji, 1972
Japan. 89 min.
In Japanese with English subtitles.

Though also directed and produced by Wakamatsu, ECSTASY OF THE ANGELS is a bit different from his earlier works, having been distributed by the extremely experimental (and somewhat elite) Art Theatre Guild, or ATG. While ATG arose in the early 1960s by distributing foreign art films, the company then started funding its own Japanese films, created by acclaimed directors from Oshima Nagisa to Imamura Shohei and Hani Susumu. ECSTASY OF THE ANGELS, however, is its only foray into the Pink Film genre. The film is based around the exploits - both political and sexual - of a far left-wing paramilitary troup called the Four Seasons Association. Like the name implies, the group is named after either seasons (Winter, Autumn), months (October, February), or days of the week (Tuesday, Thursday, etc). After a mission to steal weapons from a US military base goes awry and blinds one of the core group leaders, the association begins to splinter, and increasingly radical factions begin to form.

In its portrayal of radical left-wing terrorism, ECSTASY eerily predicts the exploits of the United Red Army in Japan, and the series of bombings and hijackings which defined the early 1970s. Blending sex and politics alongside paranoia and questions of cultural identity, the film is a radical (and beautifully shot) portrayal of a fascinating time period. Unfortunately, not long after this film's release, the United Red Army would capture a ski lodge and hold its owners hostage, in what became a highly televised event known as the Asama Sanso Incident. Radical left-wing politics in Japan would never be the same. Seen in this context, ECSTASY becomes a gorgeous time capsule of a revolutionary era that, although short-lived, defined the zeitgeist a generation.

Location

SPECTACLE THEATER (View)
124 South 3rd Street
Brooklyn, NY 11249
United States


Categories

None

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: No

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