Confessions as Impure Cinema

Bazin wrote that impure cinema situates at the intersection of multiple media from literature, theatre and painting, to photography, video and synthetic imagery. Apart from David Lych, there are many other filmmakers producing ‘impure cinema’, such as Tetsuya Nakashima from Japan. Interestingly, the first time I heard about him was a critisize from my friend complaining Confessions (2010) like a commercial rather than a film.

Well, it is true that Tetsuya Nakashima filmed commercials before he started filming. However I will see him more as a visual artist since all his works are very distinct. Here is some commercial directed by him.

 Therefore there is no surprise that Confessions (2010) is like this.

Based upon a novel and dealing with themes of bullying, revenge and savage murder, the film is an exceptionally cruel affair, all the more so thanks to Nakashima’s typically idiosyncratic approach and gorgeous visuals.The film is packed with gorgeously overblown imagery that with a use of dark and light, and more importantly of dull grey that immaculately fits its themes- revenge. (Mudge, 2010)

Confessions (2010) can be seen as not we learn in class as ‘pure’ cinema but a film including the expression of contemporary media technology as well as experimental musical scale, involving Radiohead and Japanese experimental rock band Boris, and The XX, which at times does take it into music video territory. Though the overall effect is a multi layered assault on the senses, at times Nakashima may well go too far for some viewers like my friend. 

As we are now in the era of post-cinema, ‘impure’ films are expected to immerse us into innovative landscapes of film.


Mudge, J. (2010). Confessions (2010) Movie Review | [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Mar. 2017].

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