I wrote an essay on Blind Beast (1969), Yasuzô Masumura's hallucinatory masterpiece of perverse eroticism, for the Arrow Video Blu-ray, released 23 August 2021.
I am currently working on a book on sado-masochistic themes in 1960s-70s cinema, looking at films such as La prisonnière, The Story of O, The Night Porter and In the Realm of the Senses as well as the work of Jess Franco and Alain Robbe-Grillet, and exploring the way they revisit the themes laid out... Continue Reading →
Mixing exploitation with politics and formal experimentation, the Female Prisoner Scorpion series created a mythical female avenger that fired off the imagination of 1970s Japanese audiences. It sparked numerous sequels, although none ever came close to the original three films, directed by Shunya Itô and starring Meiko Kaji. Adapted from Tôru Shinohara’s violent manga, it... Continue Reading →
Julian Ross talks to Virginie Sélavy about the summer’s seasons of experimental and independent Japanese cinema of the 1960s and 70s. In the 60s, the Art Theatre Guild of Japan (ATG) in Tokyo became the centre of a vibrant independent filmmaking scene, encouraging bold experiments and innovative collaborations with other artists. The discussion focuses on... Continue Reading →
A pioneering filmmaker in Japan, Sachi Hamano was the first woman to become a pink film director without having been an actress first. In the 60s, only male graduates could become directors in Japan, so pink film was Hamano’s way into filmmaking. She got her start working as an assistant director at Wakamatsu Productions before... Continue Reading →
The delirious adventures of a queer criminal as seen by Yukio Mishima and Kinji Fukasaku screens at the Etrange Festival in Paris on 13 September 2017. Footsteps echo in the dark. A hand knocks on a door. A flap is lifted, a pair of eyes peeks out, the door opens. Footsteps lead down a corridor... Continue Reading →
Despite being one of the most accomplished, intelligent and adventurous filmmakers to come out of Japan in recent years, Kiyoshi Kurosawa has inexplicably been ignored in this country. With the overrated Ring spawning a seemingly unquenchable thirst for anything that more or less fitted the ‘J-horror’ label, it looked like Kurosawa came to maturity just... Continue Reading →