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''Ai no Korīda'' (''愛のコリーダ''), known as ''In the Realm of the Senses'' in English and ''L'Empire des sens'' in French, is a 1976 Franco-Japanese pornographic arthouse romance/drama film directed by Nagisa Oshima.[[note]]Series/IronChef fans: Yes, this is the same Nagisa Oshima who later appeared semi-regularly on the original ''ICJ'' as a judge, usually dressed in a kimono and waxing philosophical about food.[[/note]]

The film is a semi-{{Biopic}} about the life of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sada_Abe Sada Abe]], who infamously strangled her lover before cutting off his genitals and carrying them around in her handbag, thus becoming a cultural icon. Set in Tokyo in 1936, Sada is played by Eiko Matsuda. Sada is a former prostitute who gets employed as a maid in a hotel. She begins a torrid affair with the hotel's owner, Kichizo Ishida (Tatsuya Fuji). The two engage in various sex games, including slapping each other, Kichizo urinating inside her, and Kichizo having sex with an old woman who comes to play music for them in front of her. Alas, Sada grows jealous of Kichizo's ongoing sexual relations with his actual wife, [[{{Yandere}} insisting that he should love only herself]]. Eventually, with his encouragement, she [[EroticAsphyxiation erotically aspyxiates him]] and cuts his genitals off so she can keep them inside her forever; with the film concluding with her painting "Sada Kichi the two of us forever," in blood on his chest.

Because bans in Japan on depictions of genitalia would have prevented Oshima from completing the film to his vision in that country, the production was officially listed as a French enterprise, and the undeveloped footage was shipped to France for processing and editing. The film does not so much examine Abe's status as a folk hero in Japan, but rather the power dynamics between Abe and Ishida. Many critics have written that the film is also an exploration of how eroticism in Japanese culture is often morbid or death-obsessed.

An obvious precursor of Creator/TakashiMiike's ''Film/{{Audition}}''.

!!This film provides examples of:

* AllWomenAreLustful: So lustful, that they will strangle their lovers and cut their dicks off so they can keep them inside them forever.
* BasedOnATrueStory: In 1936 a woman named Sada Abe did indeed kill her man through erotic asphyxation, mutilated his penis afterwards and carried it around with her.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Sada's nymphomania might seem erotic at first, but after a while you realize she's actually a deranged lover.
* {{Bowdlerize}}: This film is/was banned in many countries, including Japan, or has been shown with some scenes censored.
* DaydreamSurprise: Sada walks in on Kichizo having sex with his. She is shocked and the next shot shows her grabbing a razor and slitting the wife's throat, whereupon Kichizo's wife screams in agony as blood gushes out of her artery... Then the scene turns out to just be a momentary fantasy and Sada is back to watching the two copulate.
* EroticAsphyxiation: The climax of the film ends with this.
* EroticFilm: This [[ItsNotPornItsArt is one of the few films in the genre that has gotten some kind or artistic acclaim]] by many movie critics, film history guides and was included in the Criterion Collection.
* ExplicitContent: The film features unsimulated sex.
* GirlWithPsychoWeapon: Sada with a knife.
* GroinAttack: Averted. Kichizo consents to having his wee-wee cut.
* ImagineSpot: Sada sees Kichizo [[spoiler: having sex with another female servant. She then seemingly slashes the women's head with a knife, then the camera reveals nothing happened of the sort. It was just a fantasy in her head.]]
* ItsNotPornItsArt: This is one of the few erotic films which has a classy status in many countries and is praised for its cinematic qualities.
* MaleFrontalNudity: Kichizo is seen completely nude in many scenes.
* MinimalistCast: For most of the film we're alone with Kichizo and Sada. A few minor characters appear, but always for one scene.
* RapeAsDrama: Sada forces Kichizo [[spoiler:to rape the elder housemaid]].
* SceneryPorn: The historical setting and inner decoration of the film are all done with the finest attention to detail and atmosphere.
* ShoutOut: The song ''Ai No Corrida'' (1980) by Chaz Jankel, covered in 1981 by Creator/QuincyJones, lends its title from this film.
%%* {{Yandere}}: Sada.