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Pastoral: To Die in the Country (1974) Shuji Terayama
Pastoral: To Die in the Country (1974) Shuji Terayama


director: Shuji Terayama
starring: Kantaro Suga
Hiroyuki Takano Kaoru Yachigusa Masumi Harukawa


All the Shuji Terayama films have moments of fantasy, but this one, consisting of dark pieces from his tormented childhood, is a collection of dream motifs with very disturbing symbolism. The story, as told through the eyes of young Terayama, is set in northern Japan where the boy tries unsuccessfully to break free from the ties of his overly protective mother. At one point he visits a medium, a crusty old fortune teller, who says she can put him into contact with his dead father. The resulting seance drastically threatens his already tenuous grip on reality. Anther sequence depicts an imaginary, torrid liaison between the boy and a neighbor's sexy wife, culminating with a vicious beating from his mom. These snips of life continue to haunt Terayama today (in this film) as he tries to remember things in a better, healthier way, only to have the horror constantly bleed through, destroying the pleasant memories.

A poetic, troubled look at life, as the director creates a cinematic tapestry of contrasts, illusions and dilemma. The supernatural overtones put this cult film in the fantasy genre; some of the images are nightmarish to the point of horrific. Many Terayama fans consider this to be his masterpiece. It is stylistically similar to FAREWELL TO HE ARK while the narrative more closely resembles THROW AWAY YOUR BOOKS.



A Japanese film with optional ON/OFF English subtitles; uncut; uncensored; fullscreen, 111 minutes;
DVD encoded for WORLD FORMAT NTSC, playable on any American machine.
Extras include original theatrical Terayama trailers.


Violence/Rape/Drugs/Strong Sexual Situations
Recommended For Mature Audiences

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