(aka "Jinruigaku nyumon" or "The Amorists" or "The Pornographer" or " The Pornographers")

directed by Shohei Imamura
Japan 1966


Subu makes pornographic films. He sees nothing wrong with it. They are an aid to a repressed society, and he uses the money to support his landlady, Haru, and her family. From time to time, Haru shares her bed with Subu, though she believes her dead husband, reincarnated as a carp, disapproves. Director Shohei Imamura has always delighted in the kinky exploits of lowlifes, and in this 1966 classic, he finds subversive humor in the bizarre dynamics of Haru, her Oedipal son, and her daughter, the true object of her pornographer-boyfriend's obsession. Imamura's comic treatment of such taboos as voyeurism and incest sparked controversy when the film was released, but The Pornographers has outlasted its critics, and now seems frankly ahead of its time.

Theatrical Release: August 1966

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DVD Review: Criterion -  Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Criterion Collection Spine #206 - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 2:07:20
Video 2.35:1.00 Letterboxed WideScreen / 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.90 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) 
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Home Vision Entertainment / Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

DVD Release Date: August 5, 2003
Keep Case
Chapters: 31

Edition Details:

  • New high-definition digital transfer

  • New and improved English subtitle translation

  • Theatrical trailer

  • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition


I found the image a little faded, which seems quite unusual for a black and white film on DVD. The picture quality was not as sharp as previous Criterion productions. I was reminded of the Criterion edition of Kurosawa's "High and Low", although this image quality is better than that release. The subs worked fine although I don't recall seeing ones in this color before (see subtitle sample below). Just a trailer for the Extras and a 4 page insert, in the case, of an essay by J. Hoberman. I can see why this is a lesser priced Criterion not being as sharp or chock-full of extras as some of there recent releases, although it is anamorphic. I suspect the film elements were relatively weak to begin with.  out of    

Gary W. Tooze


Recommended Reading for Japanese Film Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)



The Japan Journals : 1947-2004,

by  Donald Richie

The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film
by Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp

Kon Ichikawa (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs)

by James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario

Shohei Imamura (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 1)
by James Quandt
Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave Cinema (Midland Book, Mb 469)
by David Desser
The Films of Akira Kurosawa by Donald Ritchie

Tokyo Story

by Yasujiro Ozu, Kogo Noda, Donald Richie, Eric Klestadt

Ozu by Donald Richie

A Hundred Years of Japanese Film by Donald Richie

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Subtitle sample



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