Nanami, First Love

1048. NANAMI, FIRST LOVE (1968-Japan). Directed by SUSUMU HANI. Spellbinding tale of passionate desire and psychological turbulence, filmed in a distinctive style by one of Japan’s great directors. A troubled young man named Shun seeks emotional fulfillment with Nanami, a sensuous nude model and prostitute. Although imÂmediately Infatuated with her, he cannot overcome his impotence. Through a complex, often baffling jigsaw-puzzle of flashbacks, dreams and startling dramatic events, we learn some of the reasons behind his anxieties. Left desolate at the age of seven by his father’s death, Shun was abandoned by his mother and brought up by a man who attemptÂed to seduce him. Years later, Shun’s confusions led him to molest a little girl he’d befriended, and he underwent a strange hypnotherapy that only created further turmoil. Obsessed by Nanami, Shun follows her and her perverted protector into a den of iniquity, where lascivious men photograph women in erotic poses and sado-masochistic torÂture scenes. His disturbing encounter with the nightmarish porno world leads him to additional psycho-sexual probÂlems and eventually to violence. Despite its unquestionably sordid story, the film is a work of art, thanks to director Hani’s flair for fresh and intriguing visuals; hazy, sun-suffused childhood memories, offbeat camera angles, elaborate montages intercutting past, present and fantasy, and a wealth of inscrutable symbolism. Because of its explicit erotic and nude scenes, this movie is definitely not for everyone. But for those with a taste for something unique and challengÂing, it is a powerful, haunting experience. In Japanese with English subtitles. 104 minutes. Erotic Drama