Thursday, 17 April 2008

Upcoming: Program of Japanese Art/Exploitation Cinema

From April 22 to May 12, the Seoul Cinematheque is showing a 18 film program of Japanese films, mostly from the late 1960s/ early 1970s. Most of the films deal with sensationalist material, usually concerning sex, but which are also artistic breaks with the classical past of Japanese cinema. Unfortunately, it appears only 7 of the films we have English subtitles. They are:

Go, Go, Second Time Virgin (Koji Wakamatsu, 1966)
Ecstasy of the Angels (Koji Wakamatsu, 1972)
Bad Boys (Susumu Hani, 1961)
The Inferno of First Love (Susumu Hani, 1968)
Extreme Private Eros: Love Song (Kazuo Hara, 1974)
Pastoral: Hide-and-Seek (Shuji Terayama, 1974)
The Prisoner (Masao Adachi, 2007)

I have not seen any of the films in the program, although I am familiar with the work of two directors who seem to represent influences from opposite sides of the art/exploitation binary: genre filmmaker Seijun Suzuki, and art cinema director Nagisa Oshima. The program offers an opportunity to examine this time period in Japanese film. It seems that some of the films will be shown in 16mm, which means the overall quality of the prints may not be great. However, this may actually add to the atmosphere of seeing these works.

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