Behind the Pink Curtain: The Complete History of Japanese Sex Cinema by Jasper SharpBehind the Pink Curtain: The Complete History of Japanese Sex Cinema by Jasper Sharp

Behind the Pink Curtain: The Complete History of Japanese Sex Cinema

byJasper Sharp

Paperback | November 3, 2008

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Behind the Pink Curtain takes the reader on a wild joy ride deep into the hinterlands of Japanese culture, society and radical politics by way of the weird but wonderful world of the Pink Film and Roman Porno genres.Behind the Pink Curtain focuses on the art and industry of one of the most notorious sectors of Japanese filmmaking, the erotic Pink Film, or pinku eiga genre, and the closely related Roman Porno films produced by Nikkatsu studios from 1971 to 1988. A phenomenon distinct from the cheaply-produced hardcore Adult Video (AV) market, from the early 60s onwards major Japanese film studios and independent producers alike have kept up a conveyor belt level of output of pornographic features intended purely for cinema release. Still today, just short of 100 such titles are shot on 35mm every year intended for screening in a specialist network of adult cinema across the nation. In recent years, many have found themselves released on DVD in the West or screened at international film festivals, while many of Japan's most noted filmmakers today have cut their teeth in this industry.Just how close are the links between the arthouse and the grindhouse in Japan? Read about the ins and outs of Japanese censorship from the wartime onwards, and how topless deep sea diving girls came to woo local audiences in the 50s. Learn how a TV nature documentary maker ended up helming nude female Tarzan movies, and how 60s mavericks Koji Wakamatsu and Masao Adachi met up with John and Yoko at Cannes while on the way to the Golan Heights to make a film about Palestinian revolutionaries. How Deep Throat's Harry Reems wound up in Tokyo starring in a zany sex comedy about a penis transplant gone awry, and how one of Japan's most famous literary figures ended up the subject of the country's first gay porno movie. How one of Nikkatsu's leading directors went it alone to make a film about powerboat racing and ended up in the bad books of the Yakuza, and how the anti-Bush sex farce Horny Home Tutor: Teacher's Love Juice came to be re-titled as The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai and became one of the most talked about Japanese films of recent years, playing at over twenty international film festivals.Based on extensive interviews with many of the leading figures in the field, Behind the Pink Curtain is a colorful and exhaustive trawl through Japan's most vibrant and prolific filmmaking sector.
Title:Behind the Pink Curtain: The Complete History of Japanese Sex CinemaFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:384 pages, 10 × 8 × 0.5 inShipping dimensions:10 × 8 × 0.5 inPublished:November 3, 2008Publisher:Fab PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:190325454X

ISBN - 13:9781903254547


Read from the Book

Discretely tucked away under the stretch of train track known as the Yamanote line, a mere stone's throw from Shimbashi Station, lies the Roman Gekij (or Roman Theatre). Wedged next to the Bunka Gekij (Culture Theatre), a discount second-run cinema with which it shares the same management, the Roman Gekij is but one of little more than a dozen similar venues in Japan's capital that still manages to stay afloat through the commercial exhibition of softcore sex films. Since the early 60s, erotic films known as pinku eiga (pink films) have been gracing national cinema screens en masse, making up an estimated 50% at least of all film production during the late 70s and 80s. But if this decade marked something of a watershed for the Japanese movie industry, the Roman Gekij is living proof that this deluge has yet to dry up. With most countries' sex film industries eschewing celluloid in favour of videotape, the continued production and theatrical distribution of the pink film in Japan makes for a unique phenomena. A distinct entity from the thousands of titles churned out every year as part of the ever-burgeoning, cheaply produced hardcore Adult Video (AV) market, Tokyo and a number of other regional Japanese cities still boast numerous cinemas exclusively devoted to their screening. Around 100 pink films are shot on 35mm for the big screen every year before going on to circulate more widely on video and cable TV. Given the bizarre fan culture and critical discourse that has built up around this underground sexy sub-genre over the past 40 years, it's safe to say that, in the early years of the 21st century, there's nothing like it in any other part of the world.Is the pink film pornography? Certainly by Western standards, for those looking at erotic film solely in terms of a basic visual trigger, the sexual content of these films comes across as almost endearingly coy. Japanese films may have picked up a reputation for their excesses of sex and violence over the years, mainly because such works as the Guinea Pig series, Nagisa shima's In the Realm of the Senses (Ai No Corrida, 1976) or the films of Takashi Miike are the ones that are primarily showcased abroad. But as is the case with all Japanese movies, the pink film is still bounded to some extent by the strange cultural anomaly imposed by the censorship board Eirin - the no pubic hair boundary. So the pink film has to maintain interest between the sex scenes by other means - namely, a plot.

Editorial Reviews

"All you need to know about the cutting edge of Japanese film - animated, inventive and imaginative." -- Donald Richie