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This Week in Anime - The Psychosexual World of Belladonna of Sadness




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Herron



Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Posts: 5
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:52 am Reply with quote
Love this movie so much. I have posters from it all over my apartment. The local arthouse cinemas was asking for "cult classic" type films for their midnight movie and I suggested this. I keep wanting more people to watch it because it's amazing. Still so unknown, yet still so relevant to today's social climate. It's avant garde in all the best ways.
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 2001
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:38 pm Reply with quote
I think I caught this movie on a channel that really surprised me; TCM or something that was really off-brand for the channel overall. It was interesting and often gorgeous, but man, I feel like this movie should come with soooooo many photosensitivity warnings. I don't even have anything like that and I walked away with such a headache after certain scenes.
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Animechic420



Joined: 25 Sep 2012
Posts: 1654
Location: A Cave Filled With Riches
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:54 pm Reply with quote
For those who want to check out Belladonna of Sadness, it’s currently on Amazon Prime videos.
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Themaster20000



Joined: 05 Aug 2014
Posts: 801
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 1:39 pm Reply with quote
whiskeyii wrote:
I think I caught this movie on a channel that really surprised me; TCM or something that was really off-brand for the channel overall. It was interesting and often gorgeous, but man, I feel like this movie should come with soooooo many photosensitivity warnings. I don't even have anything like that and I walked away with such a headache after certain scenes.


TCM did air it years ago ( I believe on the Underground block which is reserved for cult films). Film is quite good. As pointed out,the abstract depictions of it's exploitive material really make it stand out. A less talented director would've just did It by the numbers visually. I do find the first more interesting,with the second being a bit more meandering. That last bit of the ending,really feels like something a producer forced them to throw in, thinking audiences wouldn't get the film.
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chrisb
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Joined: 07 May 2006
Posts: 491
Location: USA
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 1:57 pm Reply with quote
One of my favorite anime films. Absolutely beautiful from start to finish. My favorite thing about the movie is it’s super sexual, but it never feels exploitative. Every sex/nude scene is either horrifying or beautiful. I love movies that are all about extremes. I like that the husband was a terrible person, but he was more than a cartoonish ass. The fact that he had some obvious good in him made his betrayals and (sorta) redemption a lot more hard hitting.
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TranceLimit174



Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 895
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 3:16 pm Reply with quote
A couple years ago I had the distinct privilege & pleasure to experience this film for the first time in a theater thanks to a friend's invitation.

I appreciate avant garde film, but rarely ever connect with it; this film was an exception. I could be here all day dissecting it, but the ways it depicts feudalism, classism, patriarchy, feminism, sex & violence, and even religious tyranny are all extremely impactful. There really is nothing quite like it.

It was probably due to a lack of availability, but considering how much of my film schooling overlapped with feminist studies I'm surprised that Belladonna of Sadness was never mentioned nor screened for me during that time.

Anyone with an historical interest in not just anime but film in general owes it to themselves to give this a view. But as noted, not for the faint of heart.

Really happy to see this covered on TWIA.
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ARC-1300



Joined: 06 Feb 2012
Posts: 344
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 3:54 pm Reply with quote
an incredible movie. I don't think many will tolerate it, but there're just something about it that is so mesmerizing. definitely worth a watch at least once.
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dm
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Joined: 24 Sep 2010
Posts: 836
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:48 pm Reply with quote
Get a good night's sleep the night before seeing this movie, and don't have a heavy meal just before watching it.

It's been probably five years since I saw it in our local art-house theater (it was restored and re-released in 2016). I'm afraid I found it tedious and trite in its heavy-handed and repetitive Freudian imagery coupled with its leaden pacing. Plus a fair amount of juvenile "Hey, bourgeois, are you epater yet? No?"

There were striking images, from a sort of imitation of Aubrey Beardsley to washed-out Peter Max. But, well, it was made in a time of amazing imagery (for example, do an image search on "Chicago Seed" sometime), so I guess I wasn't as impressed as the reviewers by that end of things. (Though I have to say that the images used in the review are pretty striking.)

But I'm glad I saw it. It's just that I'd have been happier to see it at maybe 1.5 speed.
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Triltaison



Joined: 03 Jul 2011
Posts: 467
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 2:45 am Reply with quote
I'm still utterly astonished that we live in a time where all three Animerama films are out on BD for English markets. Belladonna is absolutely a visual treat. I'm not sure if they're available elsewhere, but there are some very interesting interviews on the BD about the production of the Animerama films (mostly focusing on Belladonna of course) and Yamamoto talks about a lot of the nitty gritty details at the time. If you like hearing about studio meddling in regards to advertising confusion and learning about MushiPro during a particularly difficult time for the studio, it's worth watching.

Belladonna's a hard film to recommend to many people because of the 800 triggers of all sorts... But I do hope more people search it out for those striking visuals as a result of it streaming so many places right now. Watching just some of those watercolor and ink wash scenes in motion is worth the time investment for any fan of unconventional animation.
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a_Bear_in_Bearcave
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Joined: 14 Jan 2019
Posts: 185
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 12:21 pm Reply with quote
It's definitely an experience to watch it, and it really does have beautiful sequences of pure art, even if art is clearly on LSD.
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Dop.L



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 667
Location: London
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 5:28 pm Reply with quote
Really enjoyed reading this write-up and as I’ve got the Uk Blu-Ray release I took it off the shelves for another watch.
So many frames in this movie would have made great Prog Rock album covers.
You’d never mistake it for a movie from any other decade (except maybe the late 60s).
It’s great that this both survives and is out there.
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