Den-en ni shisu (1974) AKA Pastoral: To Die in the Country


Set in a dreamlike rural Japan, the story starts out to be about an adolescent boy’s attempt to escape his overprotective mother and then surprisingly becomes a filmmaker’s desire to confront his own elaborated creation. There is also an effort to reconcile the individual with the collective or old and new Japan through this parade of emblematic images. Gossiping women wear sinister eye patches. An outcast simple-minded woman drowns her own baby and later returns as a sophisticated prostitute. A circus fat lady yearns to have her fake body inflated by a dwarf. Curious and astounding scenes abound, all contributing to an overwhelming experience of a creative mind interrogating itself.

Director: Shûji Terayama. AKA Pastoral: To Die in the Country / 田園に死す
Stars: Kantaro Suga, Hiroyuki Takano, Yoshio Harada, Izumi Hara, Masumi Harukawa, Isao Kimura, J.A. Seazer, Kan Mikami, Keiko Niitaka, Yoko Ran, Kaoru Yachigusa.

1975 Cannes Film Festival – Nominated for the Palme d’Or.


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  1. Jonathan Shapiro
    May 1, 2020

    Terayama was an unbelievable talent. Harvard held the first major retrospective of his films in North America several years ago. I was so pissed that it didn’t travel to other regions.

  2. Tosh Berman
    May 2, 2020

    Thank you for posting this film. Amazing website.

  3. spepp
    May 3, 2020

    Easily one of the best movies of all time!

  4. Mick B.
    May 4, 2020

    Thanks, I’ve been wanting to see this for forty years!

  5. Naomi
    May 2, 2021

    Thank you. Beautiful!

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