“A shocking assault on contemporary Japanese values.”
— Anton Bitel, PROJECTED FIGURES
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. Winner of the Golden Leopard award at the 1970 Locarno Film Festival, THIS TRANSIENT LIFE is among the Art Theatre Guild's most successful – and most controversial – productions. The film concerns a brother and sister from a rich family who defy the expectations placed on them: he has little interest in further education or his father's business, instead obsessing over Buddhist statues; she continually refuses a string of suitors and the prospect of marriage. Their closeness, and isolation, gives way to an incestuous relationship which, in turn, breeds disaster.