MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE

by Nagisa Oshima
MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE - FURYO

Informations

Nation: UK, Japan, New Zealand

Year: 1983

Length: 123'

34° TORINO FILM FESTIVAL

Section:

Synopsis

During WWII, the Japanese army has a prison camp in Java, primarily for British and Dutch soldiers. The camp is run by young captain Yonoi, who maintains discipline with an iron fist and applies the Japanese military code to his western prisoners. The captain deeply despises the prisoners since they preferred to surrender rather than die in combat. But when the New Zealander major Celliers arrives, Yonoi is thrown into a devastating personal crisis: how can he accept being attracted to another man? [cg]

Director

Nagisa Oshima

Nagisa Oshima

Nagisa Ōshima (Tamano, Japan, 1931 - Fujisawa, Japan, 2013) is considered one of the maestros of Japanese cinema. An exponent of “nuberu bagu,” his films depict the contradictions of Japanese society since WWII, in which growing materialism is flanked by strict observance of centuries-old rules, generating oxymorons and irresolvable conflicts. His most important films include Cruel Story (1960); The Sun’s Burial (1960); Night and Fog in Japan (1960); The Ceremony (1971); In the Realm of the Senses (1976), a true sensation because of its explicit sexual content; Empire of Passion (1978), which won Best Director at Cannes; and Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (1983), which received a BAFTA for Best Score. His final film was Taboo (1999), presented in competition at Cannes. In 2009, the Torino Film Festival dedicated a complete retrospective to him.

Filmography:
Seishun zankoku monogatari (Racconto crudele della giovinezza, 1960), Taiyō no hakaba (Il cimitero del sole, 1960), Nihon no yoru to kiri (Notte e nebbia in Giappone, 1960), Etsuraku (Il godimento, 1965), Muri shinju: Nihon no natsu (Japanese Summer: Double Suicide, 1967), Koshikei (Death by Hanging, 1968), Gishiki (La cerimonia, 1971), Ai no korīda (Ecco l’impero dei sensi, 1976), Ai no bōrei (L’impero della passione, 1978), Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (Furyo, 1983), Max mon amour (Max amore mio, 1986), Gohatto (Tabù - Gohatto, 1999). 

Cast and Credits

regia/director
Nagisa Ōshima
soggetto/story
dai romanzi/from the novels The Seed and the Sower, The Night of the New Moon di/by Laurens van der Post
sceneggiatura/screenplay
Nagisa Ōshima, Paul Mayersberg
fotografia/cinematography
Tōichirō Narushima
montaggio/film editing
Tomoyo Oshima
scenografia/production design
Shigemasa Toda
musica/music
Ryuichi Sakamoto
suono/sound
Mike Westgate
interpreti e personaggi/cast and characters
David Bowie (maggiore/maj. Celliers), Tom Conti (colonnello/col. Lawrence), Ryuichi Sakamoto (capitano/capt. Yonoi), Takeshi Kitano (sergente/sgt. Gengo Hara), Jack Thompson (capitano/capt. Hicksley)
produttore/producer
Jeremy Thomas
produzione/production
Jeremy Thomas Production, National Film Trustees

Director statement

“There is no way I could even remotely get near to the kind of work that Ōshima and our team has done. It’s so inherently from a Japanese sensibility... Ōshima got such a peculiar balance between the stylistic acting of the Japanese, which is restrained, and the needs of the neo-realist acting of the westerns. He kept them against each other to produce this almost dream state in the film.” (David Bowie)

Synopsis Learn more

During WWII, the Japanese army has a prison camp in Java, primarily for British and Dutch soldiers. The camp is run by young captain Yonoi, who maintains discipline with an iron fist and applies the Japanese military code to his western prisoners. The captain deeply despises the prisoners since they preferred to surrender rather than die in combat. But when the New Zealander major Celliers arrives, Yonoi is thrown into a devastating personal crisis: how can he accept being attracted to another man? [cg]

Director All about direction

Nagisa Oshima

Nagisa Oshima

Nagisa Ōshima (Tamano, Japan, 1931 - Fujisawa, Japan, 2013) is considered one of the maestros of Japanese cinema. An exponent of “nuberu bagu,” his films depict the contradictions of Japanese society since WWII, in which growing materialism is flanked by strict observance of centuries-old rules, generating oxymorons and irresolvable conflicts. His most important films include Cruel Story (1960); The Sun’s Burial (1960); Night and Fog in Japan (1960); The Ceremony (1971); In the Realm of the Senses (1976), a true sensation because of its explicit sexual content; Empire of Passion (1978), which won Best Director at Cannes; and Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (1983), which received a BAFTA for Best Score. His final film was Taboo (1999), presented in competition at Cannes. In 2009, the Torino Film Festival dedicated a complete retrospective to him.

Filmography:
Seishun zankoku monogatari (Racconto crudele della giovinezza, 1960), Taiyō no hakaba (Il cimitero del sole, 1960), Nihon no yoru to kiri (Notte e nebbia in Giappone, 1960), Etsuraku (Il godimento, 1965), Muri shinju: Nihon no natsu (Japanese Summer: Double Suicide, 1967), Koshikei (Death by Hanging, 1968), Gishiki (La cerimonia, 1971), Ai no korīda (Ecco l’impero dei sensi, 1976), Ai no bōrei (L’impero della passione, 1978), Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (Furyo, 1983), Max mon amour (Max amore mio, 1986), Gohatto (Tabù - Gohatto, 1999). 

Cast and Credits Discover the cast of the film

regia/director
Nagisa Ōshima
soggetto/story
dai romanzi/from the novels The Seed and the Sower, The Night of the New Moon di/by Laurens van der Post
sceneggiatura/screenplay
Nagisa Ōshima, Paul Mayersberg
fotografia/cinematography
Tōichirō Narushima
montaggio/film editing
Tomoyo Oshima
scenografia/production design
Shigemasa Toda
musica/music
Ryuichi Sakamoto
suono/sound
Mike Westgate
interpreti e personaggi/cast and characters
David Bowie (maggiore/maj. Celliers), Tom Conti (colonnello/col. Lawrence), Ryuichi Sakamoto (capitano/capt. Yonoi), Takeshi Kitano (sergente/sgt. Gengo Hara), Jack Thompson (capitano/capt. Hicksley)
produttore/producer
Jeremy Thomas
produzione/production
Jeremy Thomas Production, National Film Trustees

Director statement Read more

“There is no way I could even remotely get near to the kind of work that Ōshima and our team has done. It’s so inherently from a Japanese sensibility... Ōshima got such a peculiar balance between the stylistic acting of the Japanese, which is restrained, and the needs of the neo-realist acting of the westerns. He kept them against each other to produce this almost dream state in the film.” (David Bowie)