Murray Pomerance exudes:
"It is absolutely the case that MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. LAWRENCE exceeds
JOHNNY MNEMONIC for Takeshi Kitano-ness, for general taste, for meaning,
for Ryuichi Sakamoto-ness, for Oshima Nagisa-ness, for the ineffable--and
I mean ineffable--and wonderful Tom Conti."
MCML is even better when watched against a reading of its print source: THE
SOWER AND THE SEED by Laurens Van der Post. Oshima revises book (really
a collection of somewhat discrete novellas) by 1) reframing the stories as
a single narrative; 2) giving the Japanese characters a historical context
(in terms of *Japanese* history), and 3) interrogating the somewhat-admiring-
but-still-stereotypical views of the Japanese in the novel.
I was always intrigued by the film, but now have a better understanding of
what Oshima is doing after reading the book.
Don Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
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