For once, I'll write a proper movie review, here ya go. :P
During the early 1900s all the way until the late 1960s Japan was full of rebellion and revolution. The youth was united and the violent demonstrations ravaged throughout the cities. One of the biggest, with many hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, went on for months. The Molotov cocktails flew through the air, as well as stones and other sharp projectiles. Different structures of society were at this time a big issue and the revolutionists had big ideas. Anarchy, communism, free sexuality, etc, played a big part in the whole riot. During the big earthquake in 1923 Japan's secret police supposedly got rid of a few people they didn't like, some of them being revolutionary leaders, young students with different ideas than the leaders of society.
The reason the revolutions eventually ended was the companies changed view on 'revolutionary behavior'. When it all began the companies had nothing against hiring former activists, seeing as they were good leaders and the company could benefit from them. Their views must have changed though, and a few decades later their opinion was the opposite. There was even a law in japan at the time that companies could refuse a person a job simply because that person had been active in various rebellions earlier. This noticeably scared the Japanese youngsters, and most cooled down.
In the end of the 1960s, when the revolutions were slowly coming to an end, this movie was created.
It was highly controversial at the time, and because of this, much material supposed to be in it was removed. Now, in modern uncensored society, these removed sections can be displayed again, and therefore the shortened three hour movie suddenly gains one entire hour. I must admit that it did get pretty boring at times. The movie is, if you are unaware of the underlying meanings, completely random as well, and at times very slow. It's abstractly filmed and there is no steady plot.
I didn't understand half of what was going on in the movie, and the other half could have had many different meanings. In general though, it features two separate stories, one in the past and one in the present. The story in the past features a revolutionary figure, his 3 lovers, and his constant deaths (which I assume symbolize the revolutions and their constant defeats, but never giving up completely). The present story is about a prostitute, a young student, and the filming of both a documentary about the past revolution and crazy imaginative chitchat about the present. In the end the movie director hangs himself and a photo is taken of all the dead people from the past story.
It really isn't a movie that can be explained, so you should watch it and get your own opinion on it. It's in black and white though, and very long, so all shallow inpatient action-obsessed Americans, look the other way, if you're looking for a massacre there won't be any in this. In terms of art it's a masterpiece, and even the music is surprisingly good for it's time. Eros is the name of the god of love btw, and probably symbolizes the views on lawless relationships of this time. Overall, a great piece of art, but definitely not a movie you'll have the patience to watch twice, at least not me.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle