REVIEW – Stolen Desire (1958)

Videovista have my review of Shohei Imamura’s first film Stolen Desire.

Given that Imamura is perhaps best known for his later films including the Cannes-winning The Ballad of Narayama (1983) and The Eel (1997) it is perhaps unsurprising that this seldom-seen remake of Ozu’s A Story of Floating Weeds (1934) should have been overlooked. However, released by Eureka alongside his fifth film Pigs & Battleships (1961) as part of their Masters of Cinema series, Stolen Desire actually constitutes a fascinating introduction to some of Imamura’s methods and concerns, it also gives us some insight into Imamura’s attitude towards his former master Yasujiro Ozu:

Stolen Desire is a film that is full of rage not only at the old guard who refuse to let go of the past but also at the young turks who doff their caps and pay their dues like good little citizens. Stolen Desire is the film of a young man who is angry with not just his generation and his society, but also with himself. The question is: if Kunida is Imamura, does that mean that Yamamura is Ozu?

When I say that this film was re-released alongside Pigs & Battleships I mean it quite literally as it comes as a DVD extra when you buy the film! Bargain!