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Movie journey with Mr Minio

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Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
Forgot to mention in contemplative cinema there are hardly any dialogs, so Bergman or Ozu films, although slow-paced are not contemplative cinema.
In the strictest sense lesbians can't have sex at all period.

Forgot to mention in contemplative cinema there are hardly any dialogs, so Bergman or Ozu films, although slow-paced are not contemplative cinema.
I did not think they were. What about Tarkovsky though? If not then I really need to see this Werckmeister Harmonies movie.

Eg. Tsai Ming Liang, Hou Hsiao Hsien, Jia Zhangke, Tarr, Apichatpong, Pedro Costa, Lucrecia Martel, Abbas Kiarostami, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Cristian Mungiu.

A Top 10:

Jeanne Dielman (1975)
Satantango (1995)
The Long Day Closes (1992)
Life and Nothing More... (1991)
Platform (2000)
The Hole (1998)
4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days (2007)
Oxhide (2005)
Syndromes and a Century (2006)
Landscape in the Mist (1988)

If anyone is planning to watch some films that fit Mr. Minio's description of the Contemporary Contemplative Cinema, here are some films that have left me gravely disappointed and I would advice you to stay clear of these:

The Corridor (1994)
Mother and Son (1997)
In Vanda's Room (2000)
La Cienaga (2001)
La Libertad (2001)
Distant (2002)
Silent Light (2007)
The Headless Woman (2008)
Honey (2010)

Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
I found both Honey and Silent Light masterpieces. Dying to see Mother and Son as well as other Sokurov works.

EDIT: Distant (Uzak) I have ready to be seen.

Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
Only one exam left and I will start my holiday! If I pass that one, that is. If I do, you can expect a new write-up, probably about pinku films! Stay tuned!

Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot

Not only did I pass the last exam, but also scored the best of all people studying my major!

I just used a GIF from ERBOH Michael Bay - the most mainstream director of them all. There's a blow of mainstreamness in every explosion in every one of his films. There's so much mainstreamness in his veins he may die of asphyxiation. So could I when celebrating my great success in MovieGal's kinky dungeon.

Celebration and Michael Bay aside, you can expect a kinky pinku article pretty soon!

Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot

Pink films emerged from dirty minds of Japanese directors in the mid-60's and, although in a small scale, are still being produced. 'Pinku eiga' means 'pink films' but even though they are called 'pornographical' in Japan, they have more to do with Western genres of erotica and sexploitation than anything you would call porn. Another thing that distinguishes them from your favourite kind of adult movies is the fact that the display of genitalia has been strictly forbidden in Japan, so the directors had to look for other ways to titillate the audience. The sheer image of female breasts that was obviously not forbidden wasn't enough, so the filmmakers quickly found many alternatives in a form of flogging, beating and other kinks. Many pink films contain themes of sadism, bondage and rape.

Although low-budget and made to gather as much money as possible (Japanese film studios were coping with financial problems at the time) many pinku films presented a high level of artistic value. One of the most famous directors of the time, Koji Wakamatsu, directed a handful of films from the genre starting from the mid-60's. Some of them would contain political themes and all would aspire to be perceived as art films. Shot mostly in black and white, they had one or two scenes shot in colour. Wakamatsu's films such as The Embryo Hunts in Secret, Violated Angels and Go, Go Second Time Virgin often presented a twisted invidual killing and torturing women, or a group of people committing rape or murder. Films like Ecstacy of the Angels were filled with political ballyhoo, whereas Violent Virgin was a surrealistic tour-de-force that would impress Bunuel.

The Embryo Hunts in Secret

Pinku films quickly bred some new sub-genres, such as Pinky Violence that was a mix of violent action-filled flicks with eroticism. Often with a woman as protagonist, taking revenge on men who raped her or done her harm. In the process she gets violated again, but eventually gets her revenge. That's only one of many possible scenarios in the subgenre. As varied as pink films are, even the subgenres can present various stories. Pinky Violence films, such as Female Prisoner series with Meiko Kaji, or Girl Boss series, often had comedy elements and being in fact entertaining action flicks, were easier to digest for wider audiences.

Pinku films were often shown on a trimple bill program. The first film was often a roman porno ('romantic porno') and therefore the most sophisticated, that didn't contain that much nudity. The second and then finally the third escalated the amount of kink and nudity. These were popular and prevented the studios from bankrupcy. However, with the introduction of adult films in Japan (films we, Western audience, would actually call porn*) in the 80's, the popularity of pinku started to drastically decrease announcing the downfall of the genre. By the 90's pornography was already widely available, but it didn't lead to the complete death of pink film. The new generation of directors would still direct this kind of movies often expanding the borders of the genre. One of the most prominent filmmakers of the era, Hisayasu Satō, specialized in dark films tackling topics like alienation, perversion and obsession, directed dozens of films of the genre. Always with a tempting title**, the films mixed erotica and Cronenberg-esque atmosphere to create very interesting outcome. Sometimes I think that the out-of-nowhere erotic scenes were only added to the film, so the producer would agree to release it, or pay for it. Some of these don't have much to do with the plot and could've been deleted with no harm to the story. They are nicely made, though, so I can't (and shouldn't!) complain. My favourite Sato film and perhaps my favourite pink film of all time is Love - Zero = Infinity. An incredibly atmospheric dark story on vampirism!

Love - Zero = Infinity

If you don't count Nagisa Oshima's daring and controversial film In the Realm of the Senses, that may or may not be perceived as pinku (more about classification later), the first pink film I have seen was Noribumi Suzuki's School of the Holy Beast. Not only does it contain a lot of bare breasts and flogging, but also is a Nunsploitation kind of a movie, which means the screen is populated with nuns! Not to mention the excellent cinematography. This is a perfect example of a pink film. Controversial, sexual, with its usual immoral themes, but also beautifully shot and artsy with some sort of hidden message. This one is pretty funny, too. There's a scene of two guys disguised as nuns that slip into the convent to make mother superior's wild dreams more real, if you will. I wonder if any Catholic Church superiors have seen the movie. I haven't heard of any 'curse', or anything, I can't remember seeing the movie on any of the various 'Films condemned by the Church' lists. Maybe the fact this film was made in a country like Japan made it obscure enough to miss pious hands of the evil-smiters.

School of the Holy Beast

After my first pink film, everything went downhill. I started watching more and more films of the genre. Like these of Teruo Ishii, who directed the trash-sleazefest Evil Brain From Outer Space and never ever could forgive himself after that (the movie is in fact a masterpiece equivalent to the works of Ed Wood!), so decided to film breasts of Japanese females until he dies. Horrors of Malformed Men and Blind Woman's Curse are highly recommended. If you like his style watch Inferno of Torture, Orgies of Edo and Shogun's Joy of Torture. Female Yakuza Tale: Inquisition and Torture is tastefully tasteless, so watch it only if you really like the rest of his films and low humour. I loved it myself. Actually, watch it. No matter what. It's like Lady Snowblood. No. It's like Sex and Fury, but even crazier!

Orgies of Edo

Criminal Woman: Killing Melody and the Female Prisoner Scorpion are the representatives of W.I.P. (Women in Prison) genre in pink film. They have strong female protagonists that kick ass! Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs is another glorious example. Blind Beast, a film that depending on definition can be seen as pink film, is another fairly interesting flick. The decorations in a form of giant human parts are creepy, almost surreal, while the ending is nothing short of disturbing. Even I felt uneasy, a person who has seen a lot and is not easy to impress. The last gem I will write about is Love Hotel. Coming from arthouse (!) director Shinji Somai it is the only pink film in his career. Even though it contains erotic scenes, yet again, it can be argued if it should be classified as pinku. The subject matter is interesting, the music beautiful and everything else so memorable... The ending is simply stunning. It avoids cheap titillating nudity as the director focuses on the drama and his characters rather than sex. There is sex to be found, but it's very fluid in the context of the whole picture. Masterful work.

Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs

It is very hard to classify a movie and tell whether or not it is a pink film, if only because there's not only one definition of what a pink film is. Should we take the very narrow definition and even most Wakamatsu films don't classify as pinku, but as Japanese New Wave movies. However, if we broaden the definition, every erotic film from Japan is pinku. The usual consensus is that most low-budget, erotic films from Japan are pinku. If they contain scenes of violence, well, it makes them even pinkier.

With 30 pink films I have seen I am but an initiate of this kinky genre fandom, but the world of kink to be found in Japan is vast enough for me to have fun for next decades!

Reiko Ike in Sex and Fury

* Even though, these films were porn and not just erotica like pinku, the censorship laws in Japan haven't changed, so the genitalia still had to be blurred. The inability to show human reproductive organs forced adult film directors to look for other ways of sexual activity that would bypass the censure. One of them was bukkake, since neither the face of an actress, nor any fluid was censored. I will finish at this, since this write-up is supposed to be about pinku films, not porn. I will only add that if you ever wondered what's the reason for all the weird fetishes to-be-found only in Japan, the little blurry circle on vaginas and penises is probably the answer.

** Some titles (these are real titles of the movies!): Office Lady Rape: Disgrace, Rape Climax!, Lolita Vibrator Torture, Molester's Train: Dirty Behavior.

Would you consider most of these pinky films to be equal to exploitation movies? I ask because, as you know, I recently watched Second Time Virgin, and I found it a little more serious and emotional than the average exploitation I've seen.

Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
As I wrote, pink films are very varied. Some of them are just mindless erotica to titillate the viewer, while some other are pieces of art that only use sex and fetishes as means to tell story.

Wakamatsu's films are in fact Japanese New Wave. Just as I wrote, some people don't even classify them as pinku. Go, Go Second Time Virgin can be seen as a serious drama. Embryo Hunts in Secret has pinku qualities to it, but can also be seen as a serious film. In fact, most pinku can.

Besides, sexploitation and erotica are the closest genres to pinku, but I only wrote it to make an unaware reader know what he's getting into. In fact, there's no Western genre equivalent to pinku.

Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
I thought of watching movies chronologically, year by year. How do I even approach such an impressive task?

From what I gathered so far, it looks like this:
1. I will go a year for every decade, because if I went 100% chronologically, I would've died of silent cinema overdose (don't take me wrong, I love silent flicks, but some variety is needed), so I take 1910, 1920, ..., 2000 and watch as many movies from these years as possible for an unspecified time period (I guess until I run out of movies to watch from these years, which may take like a year, or two, lol). Then I switch to 1921, 1921, 1931, ..., 2001 and do the same thing. I will also watch films from other years during the process, because I don't want to restrict myself, but the main focus will be on given year.
2. Alternatiely, I can just randomly choose any year from 1910 to 2000 and watch all the movies from the year I want to see. Then, the year is excluded from the next draw
3. I may also make some director retrospections or genre/movement discovery to make it more fun.

However, here arise two questions:
1. Is it even worth it? Does it make any sense?
2. Will I be able to stick to this routine?