Pink Cinema Revolution: The Radical Films of Koji Wakamatsu

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Art / Cultural Politics

Several films, grouped under the title of this post, are being shown this weekend, for the first time, in San Francisco.  From the press release:

More than any other Japanese films, those made by Koji Wakamatsu in the ’60s and ’70s are deeply rooted in the political and social upheavals of the era. One of the leaders of ‘pink cinema,’ Wakamatsu has always been obsessed with the history of student protest movements. The term ‘pink cinema’ or ‘pinku eiga’ comes from the English word ‘pink’, and the Japanese word ‘eiga’, meaning cinema. The pinku eiga—or Japanese sexploitation—were independent film productions that from the mid ’60s to early ’70s experimented with a new form of filmmaking that blended sex and violence.

Inspired by the narrative processes, aesthetics and production means of the French New Wave, pink films and their makers are inseparable from the history of the Japanese revolutionary left. This film movement, certainly the most extreme that developed at the time in industrialized countries, is nonetheless comparable to the cinema of Pasolini or Fassbinder, distilling the same subversive tendencies and denunciation of “bourgeois morality.” (Michaël Prazan)

The Author

Lecturer of Chinese history at University of Leeds, and Editor-in-Chief of SinoNK.com.

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