This essay closely analyzes Toshio Matsumoto's experimental 1969 film. I argue that it “willfully dissolves the boundaries between reality and fiction through its complex mixing of staged, avant-garde, and documentary footage." I pay special attention to formal elements to arrive at that argument. This is one of the only essays where I have attached images from the film, so I've included some of them here. The way that Bara no Souretsu uses a mix of documentary, fiction, and fabricated documentary to generatively blend genre is still very exciting to me. It's also pretty aesthetically incredible, lithely playing with viewer expectations, while still hitting hard with meaning. I'd really recommending watching the movie if you get a chance!
Written under my own guidance for Ben James' History of Film 1945-present.
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