1976: The year In the Realm of the Senses is released. Nahisa Ôshima is inspired by real facts to tell of the fatal sexual affair between a geisha and her married employer in 1930s Japan. The film, which is explicitly pornographic and was filmed in secret, causes such a scandal in Japan that Nagisa Ôshima has to explain himself at a trial. When it is released, the work is censored: certain scenes are cut and intimate body parts are hidden.
1976: a very erotic year, with Nagisa Ôshima's Ai No Korîda (In the Realm of the Senses)
Cannes Classic continues its short history of the Festival de Cannes with a film that was the talk of the town. Nagisa Ôshima's Ai No Korida (In the Realm of the Senses) remains etched on the memories of the 1976 Directors' Fortnight audience. The film broke all the rules because it was so erotic and violent. It owed its survival and, much later, its international success to Cannes. This is the story of one of the most criticised works ever.
Success, at last. Far more than just the subject of a scandal, The Realm of the Senses is a satire of Japanese middle-class sexuality. More generally, it shows the sexual act at its most perverted and honest at the same time. The film is hailed by the international press. Despite its previous setbacks in Japan, it is shown today in its original version.
Ôshima's heirs. Many have followed his lead by shooting unsimulated sex scenes. In 1986 in Devil in the Flesh (Il diavolo in corpo) Marco Bellochio furtively films Maruschka Detmers performing fellatio on Federico Pitzalis. Virginie Despente filmed multiple explicit scenes in Baise-moi, Vincent Gallo allows himself to get carried away with Chloé Sevigny in The Brown Bunny and most recently there is Gaspar Noé's Love, which had feelings running high on the Croisette thanks to that much-talked-about facial ejaculation scene - in 3D.