Profound Desires Of The Gods (1968) was Shohei Imamura's last studio backed film. This was a period where films were losing out to TV audiences and studios were reluctant to back prestige projects by auteurs that were likely to have limited box office appeal. It didn't help that Imamura extended the shooting schedule from six to 18 months and allowed the budget to spiral out of control either. After this Imamura would concentrate on documentaries for TV until he made his cinematic comeback with Vengeance Is Mine in 1979. Several of recurrent Imamura themes are investigated in this film about a south sea island, Kurage, (most likely a stand in for Okinawa where it was filmed) that is still 50 years behind the mainland in every aspect of civilization-its a more primitive and organic existence with close bonds to nature. Imamaura more than in any other film acts as a cultural anthropologist studying this semi-ancient culture amid contemporary defilement of Japan, in nature and within the culture. The tentative link between animals and man is once again reflected in the many shots of sea life, animals, and insects that inhabit the island and make it a wild and untamed environment, much like the ostracized Futori family that has upset the balance of life and society on the island through poaching, adultery, and incest (another recurring Imamura theme). However, despite being outcasts there is a tradition of them being shamen, noros, for the island where they converse with the gods and have important roles in the religious ceremonies and traditions of the island. The noro roles are maintained by women, Uma (Neikichi's sister-in-law and common-law husband) and later, Toriko, the sister granddaughter of Kametoru (a family member who helps with the modernization of the island as an assistant to the engineer sent to the island, and who longs to live in Tokyo), half-wit and sort of holy fool and manifestation of sexuality on the island. The island is in transition from the ancient rites and traditions to the lure of island tourism represented by jet planes and a tourist steam engine to bring tourists from the airfield to the center of the island, which is manifested by the appearance of Coca-cola on the island. The islanders are torn between the tendency to adhere to the traditional ways of the island and the desire to modernize and prosper materially from progress from the mainland. It is an epic story, almost three hours in length, with stunning cinematography throughout. A classic from one of Japan's greatest filmmakers.