by Jason Minton
Kiju Yoshida's Love + Anarchism Box Set:
Eros + Massacre - 1969
The first part of a loose film trilogy known as Love + Anarchism. These three films are united by their political and free love themes. Eros + Massacre tells two parallel stories of lives that intertwine, covering the life of anarchist and free love advocate Sakae Osugi. A murder mystery whodunit based on real events of radicalism in a changing country. The first story covers a murder in the 1920’s Japan and Osugi’s relationships with three women. The second story follows a pair of student activists who are piecing together the crime as they research Osugi some forty years later.
Considered a masterpiece of filmmaking, this 60’s arthouse feature carries a powerful message behind it. The intertwining of stories set so far apart was done very well and interesting. The overall story is tainted by an unrealistic, arthouse portrayal on screen. Perhaps it was lost in translation of language and time or perhaps the film got lost in trying to impress itself in a repressed country, instead of focusing on the entertaining story it had to tell.
2 out of 5 Headless Critics
The Love + Anarchism box set from Arrow Video is an impressive 7 disc anthology covering 3 films and is packed with everything. Excellent restoration with updated subtitles for accuracy, scene select commentary, this box set includes theatrical trailers for each film. The most impressive feature with Eros + Massacre is its presentation in both the 169 minute theatrical cut and the 220 minute Directors cut. The film was fought on its release as one of the actresses had gone into politics and didn’t want parts of the film released at the time. Also included is a procedural documentary which includes commentary by Director Kiju Yoshida. New discussions of Yoshida’s works are also presented here with Yoshida expert and author David Dresser who’s found throughout the special features.
5 out of 5 Horror Filled Features