Film director Nagisa Oshima, known for “In the Realm of the Senses (Ai no Korida)” and “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence,” died Tuesday of pneumonia at a hospital in Kanagawa Prefecture, his family said. He was 80.
After entering the Shochiku Co. production company, Oshima attracted attention as a member of Japan’s New Wave movement with such movies as “Cruel Story of Youth.”
He left Shochiku after his 1960 film “Night and Fog in Japan” was abruptly pulled from theaters three days after its release.
Oshima rose to global fame in 1976 with “In the Realm of the Senses,” a sexually explicit portrayal of the story of Sada Abe. Made in collaboration with a French company, the controversial film was heavily censored and never screened in Japan.
“Empire of Passion,” Oshima’s companion film to “In the Realm of the Senses,” won him the best director award at the Cannes International Film Festival in 1978.