By the Book
Empire of Passion
Directed by Nagisa Oshima • 1978 • Japan
Starring Tatsuya Fuji, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Takahiro Tamura
With an arresting mix of eroticism and horror, Oshima plunges the viewer into a nightmarish tale of guilt and retribution in EMPIRE OF PASSION (AI NO BOREI). Set in a Japanese village at the end of the nineteenth century, the film details the emotional and physical downfall of a married woman and her younger lover following their decision to murder her husband and dump his body in a well. EMPIRE OF PASSION was Oshima’s only true kaidan (Japanese ghost story), and the film, a savage, unrelenting experience, earned him the best director award at the Cannes Film Festival.
Up Next in By the Book
Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky • 1979 • Russian Federation
Andrei Tarkovsky’s final Soviet feature is a metaphysical journey through an enigmatic postapocalyptic landscape, and a rarefied cinematic experience like no other. A hired guide—the Stalker—leads a writer and a professor into the heart...
The Tin Drum
Directed by Volker Schlöndorff • 1979 • Germany
Starring David Bennent, Mario Adorf, Angela Winkler
Oskar is born in Germany in 1924 with an advanced intellect. Repulsed by the hypocrisy of adults and the irresponsibility of society, he refuses to grow older after his third birthday. While the c...
My Brilliant Career
Directed by Gillian Armstrong • 1979 • Australia
Starring Judy Davis, Sam Neill
For her award-winning breakthrough film, director Gillian Armstrong drew on teenage author Miles Franklin’s novel, a celebrated turn-of-the-twentieth-century Australian coming-of-age story, to brashly upend the co...