Japanese film director Oshima dies at 80
FILE - In this May 16, 2000 file photo, Japanese director Nagisa Oshima, poses during a photocall for their film "Gohatto," in competition for the Golden Palm, at the Film Festival in Cannes, France. Oshima, a Japanese director known for internationally acclaimed films “Empire of Passion” and “In the Realm of the Senses” has died of pneumonia. He was 80. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)
TOKYO (AP) — Nagisa Oshima, a Japanese director internationally acclaimed for his films "Empire of Passion" and "In the Realm of the Senses," has died of pneumonia. He was 80.
His office, Oshima Productions, said Oshima died Tuesday afternoon at a hospital near Tokyo after being in and out of hospital since he was struck by a stroke more than a decade ago.
A former student radical from Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto, Oshima debuted in 1959 with "A Town of Love and Hope," quickly earning a reputation of a "new wave" director with social and political themes during the 1960, often depicting youths raging against the society. He tackled controversial social issues throughout his career, ranging from capital punishment and racism to homosexuality.
FILE - In this May 16, 2000 file photo, Japanese director Nagisa Oshima arrives with his wife Akiko Koyama at the Festival Palace to attend the screening of his film "Gohatto" in competition at the 53rd International Film Festival in Cannes. Oshima, a Japanese director known for internationally acclaimed films “Empire of Passion” and “In the Realm of the Senses” has died of pneumonia. He was 80. His office says Oshima died Tuesday afternoon at a hospital near Tokyo. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours, File)
But he is probably best remembered for his 1976 film "In the Realm of the Senses," a story based on a psychotic murder case set in pre-World War II Japan, which stirred public indecency debate in Japan and elsewhere because of explicit sex scenes. Two years later, Oshima won best director award at the Cannes International Film Festival with "Empire of Passion."
In 1961, Oshima directed "The Catch," based on Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe's novel about an African-American soldier who was captured in a wartime Japanese village. His 1968 film "Death By Hanging" was his criticism against capital punishment and racism.