Previously at the ICA - Films
20 Apr 2014
Adapted from a 1961 Matsumoto story that was originally serialised in the upmarket (and feminist-leaning) Fujin Koren magazine, The Shadow Within is a sometimes lurid psychological drama about an emasculated husband, Yukio, and an affair with a childhood friend Yasuko.
Yasuko, a widow, has a small son, and he becomes the focus of Yukio’s paranoia as he tries and fails to play the substitute father to him. The Shadow Within was made in 1970, just as Japan was accelerating back onto the world stage in a period of startling economy growth, and Yukio’s Shinjuku workplace is surrounded the signs of ambitious confidence, all international style glass and steel.
Yet this go-getting world seems to be passing him by. At work he’s a stressed, lowly figure in a cluttered office. At home he’s often left alone - his wife Keiko out working happily on her various businesses. Yukio’s affair with a friendly girl from his hometown, and his frequent flashbacks to that rustic life, seem like expressions of nostalgic yearning for old Japan. A film that, like The Demon, adds a dash of horror to often unsettling effect - witness the gang of malevolent crows that observe the film's damning climax.
The Shadow Within, dir Yoshitarô Nomura, Japan 1970, 98 mins, subtitles, 16mm/digital, cert 12A
Please note that all films are 18+ unless otherwise stated. The feature will start approximately 15 minutes after the listed start time.