Kon Ichikawa John Gillett - Essay

John Gillett

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

In the case of Kon Ichikawa our knowledge is confined to four films: The Burmese Harp, Conflagration, Odd Obsessions and Fires on the Plain, only one of which suggests his former preoccupation with bizarre comedy; yet together they reveal a highly contemporary artist tormented by a particularly fiery private hell. Perhaps it is symptomatic that two of the films are concerned with war: as with other Japanese directors of his generation …, memories of the war and the shattering implications of the defeat were inevitably carried over into the post-war period. Certainly, Fires on the Plain … recalls the conflict with ferocious immediacy: no film has recorded the physical and mental degradation of...

(The entire section is 554 words.)