Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence

Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence

classified 15 S

Cinema Rediscovered 2016

Film

Please note: This was screened in July 2016

Director
Nagisa Oshima
Cast
David Bowie, Tom Conti, Ryuichi Sakamoto
Details
123 mins, Subtitled, 1983, Japan / UK

Conflicting cultural imperatives and repressions between East and West collide with tragic consequences in Nagisa Oshima’s enthralling World War II drama, which sees a war of wills - and unspoken erotic attraction - unfold between a rebellious prisoner (David Bowie) and a Japanese POW camp commander (Ryuichi Sakomoto).

Nagisa Ôshima made his English language debut with this multilayered drama, which also features Tom Conti as a bilingual prisoner who tries to bridge the divides between captor and prisoner, and Takeshi Kitano in his first dramatic role as a sadistic sergeant. But it is Bowie's maverick and often anarchic Major Celliers that steals the show - Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence is a testament to his uncanny magnetism on screen.

With thanks to HanWay Films’ Jeremy Thomas and Alainée Kent and Altitude Films. Presented on DCP, this 2K restoration was undertaken by Schedule II from the original 35mm CRI negative and mono sound recordings. Both picture and sound have been remastered for digital 5.1 presentation whilst retaining the unique look and feel of the original 35mm elements.