Posts Tagged ‘pinku eiga’



JAPAN 2010  Directed by: Yusuke Narita  Written by: Masayoshi Azuma  Novel by: Oniroku Dan  Cast: Minako Komukai, Shohei Hino, Mari Komatsuzaki, Kotono, Shunsaku Kudo, Kei Mizutani, Yasukaze Motomiya, Ayumu Saito

You should think that the Pinku Eiga is coming of age by now. FLOWER & SNAKE 3 leaves it kind of open however if it has, or hasn’t. It may simply be a matter of definition though, or maybe a matter if time.

FLOWER & SNAKE 3 has little in common with the likes of ANGEL GUTS or other Nikkatsu productions of the late 70’s or 80’s. Transgressions that once defined the genre – or creativity, as you may prefer to call it and were once a hallmark of the Japanese pink film – have made room for convention. Disregard the question if we have to attribute that creativity to censorship or not it must be noted that the Japanese pink film has always been more inventive than its western counterparts.

To be precise, the key difference is that the pinku eiga is imaginative while the western sex film is mostly solely descriptive. Like, say, the difference between Internet Explorer and Safari. This stronghold is genuinely made in Nippon, and few filmmakers outside the country have come close to the specific vision of pinku eiga directors or their literary sources.

Now how about the coming of age of the pink film? FLOWER & SNAKE 3 has come of age in the sense that it has evolved far away from the origins of the genre and represents a glossy interpretation of European soft core, a fantasy that could have come from the ever-playful mind of Tinto Brass, a film that turns transgression into fashion, lauding S&M as the new standard of the mainstream. Indeed, many ideas have moved from the periphery of society into its center, however, that doesn’t mean that the auteur has to follow that example and start depicting what is instead of what could or will be.

Losing that specific edge means losing a good part of the pinku eiga identity: there are more similarities than differences to western productions, even though FLOWER & SNAKE 3 still seems more story-driven and tries to define pleasure and pain as an expression, or result, of the relationships between the characters. But it’s a far cry from what made the pinku eiga a genuine category and that is also why I cannot think of many reasons why you need watch it.






JAPAN 2010  Directed by: Kota Yoshida Written by: Kota Yoshida Produced by: Takashi Hirota  Cinematography by: Akitoshi Minami  Cast: Noriko Eguchi, Shota Sometani, Saori Hara, Jun Miho, Noriko Kijima, Shige Kasai

YURIKO’S AROMA seems exemplary to me for illustrating the opportunities and limitations of independent cinema. As much as it can take liberties the mainstream has to refrain from as it targets a mass audience, it also has difficulties at times getting out of its self-made niche. This is not to say that independent films want to get out of their niche, but as much as they feel happy within their own comfort zone (which again lies outside the comfort zone of the mainstream) they also often tend to be too much in love with their subject and never look beyond to see if it is of any relevance to the world out there.

YURIKO’S AROMA tells the story of an aroma therapist who gets caught in an affair triangle: one of her female clients is seriously hitting on her every time she comes for treatment, while at the same time she is being attracted to a young student because his head smells so incredibly good. Like a pollen seeking bee Yuriko follows the scent of Tetsuya and eventually ends up giving him a handjob in a run down building. But that is only the beginning of a difficult process of finding out what this relationship is all about.

We have seen all sorts of weird things coming out of Japan, so in case you are used to edgy films like VISITOR Q don’t worry too much, YURIKO’S AROMA is relatively harmless. Then again, maybe that’s one of its problems: it’s not breaking taboos consequently enough to stir our thoughts while at the same time Yoshida seems to believe that he has reinvented the wheel with this unsettling love story. Maybe it’s just me but I do not enjoy seeing teenagers jerked off by an older woman. Yuriko’s motivations, her issues, her hopes and fears never adequately reflect in her behavior or succeed in making the story any meaningful.

You don’t necessarily need transgressions to create impact, a movie simply has to relate to the world no matter how small or niche it is. It is difficult to clearly identify YURIKO’s theme, as much as it is hard to identify with any of the characters. They all seem to be coming from a different planet, what they are doing just doesn’t concern us (if it would you’d probably have serious issues). I wish I could say there’s a hidden meaning embedded in the movie, but I am afraid this is not the case.

YURIKO’S AROMA is self-centered and spending all of its time on odd people, odd situations and odd actions. It shuts the audience out, never involves. Everything is what it seems to be, making YURIKO’S AROMA a documentation of a dreary existence run by poor judgment and based on even poorer values.




Something most people have probably missed last quarter was performance artist / slash Pinku Eiga collaborator Kunihiko Ukai’s PINK JEANNE D’ARC live-event and movie. Ukai and partner in crime Rena Masuyama had designed a special celebration performance against war, right on time for the World Peace Now event marking the 7th anniversary of the Iraq War.

The result of the performance has been released as a movie; try to catch it if experimental films are your thing.