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Pigs, Pimps, and Prostitutes: 3 Films by Shohei Imamura (The Criterion Collection)

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In the 1960s, Japanese filmmakers responded to a stale studio system by looking for new ways to tell stories, Shohei Imamura was one of the leading figures of this new wave. With the three films in this set--Pigs and Battleships, The Insect Woman, and Intentions of Murder--Imamura truly emerged as an auteur, bringing to his national cinema an anthropological eye and a heretofore unseen taste for the irreverent. Claiming his interests lay in "the relationship of the lower part of the human body and the lower part of the social structure," Imamura dotted the decade with earthy, juicy, idiosyncratic films featuring persevering, willful heroines. His remains a unique cinematic voice

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Emiko Aizawa, Setsuko Amamiya, Tomio Aoki, Tomoko Aoyagi, Emiko Azuma
  • Directors: Shôhei Imamura
  • Writers: Shôhei Imamura, Gisashi Yamauchi, Hisashi Yamanouchi, Kazu Ôtsuka, Keiji Hasebe
  • Producers: Jirô Tomoda
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: May 19, 2009
  • Run Time: 384 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001TIQT7A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,925 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pigs, Pimps, and Prostitutes: 3 Films by Shohei Imamura (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

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Top Customer Reviews

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Another EXCELLENT series of films by the great Imamura with plenty of humour and sensuality together with excellent performances evinced by this master filmmaker. I really like the way Imamura sympathises and admires his female characters who are the true survivors in all three films and manage to come through unbelievable hardships and humiliations in a manner which can only get us to truly admire these wonderful expressions of the "life-force"!
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FIRST, CRITERION'S DIGITAL TRANSFER IS AWESOME, ESPECIALLY COMPARED WITH MOC'S PIGS AND BATTLESHIPS BLU-RAY, IT STILL HAS POWER.

AMONG THESE THREE FILMS, I LOVE PIGS AND BATTLESHIPS BEST, BECAUSE IT CLEARLY SHOWED IMAMURA'S LATER STYLE: REALISM, HUMANITY PORTRAIT WITH SEX AND VIOLENCE, HOWEVER, NEVER GONE ANY "TOO" FAR, WHICH MADE IT WIDELY ACCEPTED BY CRITICS AND AUDIENCES.

I GUESS ONLY CRITERION'S FUTURE BLU-RAY EDITION WILL EXCEED THIS. DO YO AGREE? ACTUALLY, I HOPE NOT. BECAUSE FOR MANY TIMES I THINK BLU-RAY FORMAT IS NOT THAT SUITABLE FOR OLD FILMS, ESPECIALLY FOR B&W FILMS BEFORE 1970.
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Film = barely two (2) stars; subtitles = zero (0) star; restoration = five (5) stars. Director Shohei Imamura has laid a very large egg with this amateurish, improvised, and un-engaging movie. (I'm surprised the studio risked damage to its reputation by even allowing its release to art-house circuits! More about this later.) The plot deals with the lowest of the low level of yakuza gang members towards the end of the Japanese occupation in the late 1950's. The direction and acting are so bad that it, well, gives the yakuza a bad name. (You'll see better productions mounted in high-school plays.) Then there are the subtitles. What a mess. They are so amateurishly long and frequent that the viewer has two basic options: (1) focus on the titles and forego the visuals and most of the dialog; or (2) turn off the subtitles and take your chances with the local (mostly Yokosuka) slang and dialects. (Of course, there is a third alternative: watch the film both ways--recommend only for those with strong constitutions!) Interiors meticulously recreate a portion of the local red-light district. But the action is clearly staged and phony. Same for the real exteriors where the action looks unreal even though the sets are not. Cinematography and lighting (wide-screen, black and white) are excellent. Music seems out of place and mercifully limited mostly to the opening/closing credits. Costumes often look like they are every-day clothes that belong to the actors. Now back to the film's title and its impact on the releasing studio's reputation. The battleships are American and the pigs (the four-legged varieties) are Japanese. But does the Director also have a culturally inappropriate and insulting metaphor in mind? The film is ambiguously anti-American. But seems clearly anti-Japanese. Skip this turkey. WILLIAM FLANIGAN, PhD.
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