Three Resurrected Drunkards (1968)
Had Three Resurrected Drunkards been made today, an unsuspecting viewer would swear it was directed by David Lynch. Oshima begins the film with three young men having their clothes stolen and replaced as they swim. Unfazed, the three men wear the clothes and are mistaken for undocumented Koreans.
I'll call the next 40 minutes a series of comedies of errors that have the three men running from authorities, mysterious figures, and the actual undocumented Koreans the authorities are looking for. While these 40 minutes could be better described as a series of unfortunate events, outside of a scene that has the three young men fighting in Vietnam I found it hard to fully grasp Vietnam War-era Japan.
I understood feelings of mistrust and hopelessness, but Oshima further complicates matters by seemingly restarting the film over again for its second half. However, as the three young men start running from the authorities, they begin to believe they really are the undocumented Koreans.
If you're already confused, please join the characters that play the actual Koreans. It's quite unsettling to see the young men lose their identities for seemingly no real reason. It's even more unsettling to see the young men lose their youth and all of that optimism in exchange for fleeting visions of dignity and splendor.
The Box Set
All five films were shot in a 2:35:1 widescreen aspect ratio, and Criterion enhanced the video for 16:9 televisions. Three films — Pleasures Of The Flesh, Sing A Song Of Sex, and Three Resurrected Drunkards — were shot in color, and the other two — Violence At Noon and Japanese Summer: Double Suicide — were shot in black and white. The films in color look dreary and drab to match the less than cheerful storylines; likewise, the films in black and white look dark.
All five films include their original mono sound tracks, which are unsurprisingly not sharp and muffled at times. There are English subtitles. As with all films in the Eclipse series, Oshima's Outlaw Sixties comes with no bonus features.