Friday, March 25, 2005

"Twisted Path of Love" (Kumashiro)

"Koibitotachi wa Nureta" [literally, "Lovers Get Wet"] directed by Kumashiro Tatsumi, Nikkatsu studio, 1973. A so-called "pink film", or "Roman Porno", but not a shallow work. Reminds one obliquely of "Easy Rider", of characters without future, savoring pleasures and sufferings of the moment, but mostly oblivious to long-term consequences. Protagonist is Katsu who returns to run-down Japanese coastal town, finds solace in arms of boss's lonely wife. Reviewer sees Katsu, who denies having been raised in same town, representing Japan's loss of identity following Second World War and disorienting effect of U.S. occupation. Recommended for background reading: William Johnson's "A New View of Porn: The Films of Tatsumi Kumashiro." Film Quarterly Fall 2003, vol. 57, no. 1, pp.11-19.

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