Friday, February 20, 2009

The Tokyo Image Forum takes us back to school with "WE ARE THE PINK SCHOOL!"

by Chris MaGee

There have been a number of retrospectives of pinku eiga programmed around the world in the wake of the publication of Jasper Sharp's "Behind the Pink Curtain: A Complete History of Japanese Sex Cinema". Sharp himself was instrumental in programming the "Behind the Pink Curtian" series at last year's Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas as well as the British Film Institute's "Wild Japan" retrospective in December, while South Korean women got a chance to have a festival of pinku eiga geared directly to them last November with a retrospective simply titled "Pink Film Festival". It hasn't just been theatrical retrospectives though. An entire company, L.A.-based Pink Eiga has been steadily releasing a wide selection of the roughly one hour long softcore films since starting up last year. It’s deserved attention to a wing of Japanese cinema that kept production companies in the black and movie houses filled during the late 60s and through the 1970s, as well as acting as a film school to a number of today’s established directors like Ryuichi Hiroki, Rokuro Mochizuki, and even Kiyoshi Kurosawa.

Of all these retrospectives programmed worldwide none will be able to compare to what Tokyo’s Film Forum has planned for the month of March. Starting February 28th and going right through until March 20th this bastion of art house and experimental cinema will be hosting an unprecedented programme of 42 pink films. Titled “WE ARE THE PINK SCHOOL!: Japan’s Erotic Film History, 1965-2008” the retrospective will cover films from the early days of the genre right through to the present day with highlights including films by the above mentioned Ryuichi Hiroki (Bokura no shunkan), Rokuro Mochizuki (Ai yakko ningyou i-ka-se-te), Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Kandagawa Wars), but also from such legends of the genre as Koji Wakamatsu (Affairs Within Walls), Mitsuru Meike (Noukou furin tora re ta onna) and Shinya Yamamoto (Tokushu sankaku kankei).

If you’re proficient in written Japanese you can check out the full schedule for “WE ARE THE PINK SCHOOL” here. It sounds like a truly impressive event. Thanks to Variety Japan for news about it.

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