“An escape from the tyranny of time.”
— Hayley Scanlon, WINDOWS ON WORLDS
Akio Jissôji created a rich and diverse body of work during his five decades in Japan's film and television industries. For some, he is best-known for his science-fiction: the 1960s TV series ULTRAMAN and 1988's box-office success TOKYO: THE LAST MEGALOPOLIS. For others, it is his 1990s adaptations of horror and mystery novelist Edogawa Rampo, such as WATCHER IN THE ATTIC and MURDER ON D STREET. And then there are his New Wave films for the Art Theatre Guild. MANDARA, Jissôji's first colour feature, maintained the controversial subject matter of THIS TRANSIENT LIFE, focusing on a cult who recruit through assault and hope to achieve true ecstasy through sexual release. Shot, as with all of Jissôji's Art Theatre Guild works, in a radically stylised manner, the film sits somewhere between the pinku genre and the fiercely experimental approach of his Japanese New Wave contemporaries.