Is this erotic anime one of the most beautiful films ever made?

Look out for Eiichi Yamamoto’s transgressive epic from 1973, Belladonna of Sadness.

David Jenkins


There’s no better feeling that when film archivists and restorers choose to unearth a little seen gem from the ground rather than direct their considerable skills towards giving some canonical classic its 17th service wash. Belladonna of Sadness is a strange, swirling, psychedelic and transgressive epic from Japanese director Eiichi Yamamoto working with alongside one of the high-priests of modern anime, Osamu Tezuka. As you can see from the stills below, the artwork used to build the film is insanely intricate and detailed, and it’s all enveloped in an woozy jazz-rock soundtrack from Masahiko Satoh. This vital new restoration was undertaken by US distributor Cinelicious Pics who are releasing the film in the US in mid-May. We’ve got fingers, toes and everything else crossed that it’s not long before it makes its way to UK screens. For now, check out these amazing stills (courtesy of Cinelicious Pics) and the trailer for the cleaned up new version…

Belladonna of Sadness is released in the US on 16 May, 2016. Visit Cinelicious Pics for more details.

Published 8 Apr 2016

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