by Marc Saint-Cyr
This is certainly a noteworthy piece of news - if only for the step forwards in Japanese cinema scholarship it represents. According to Wildgrounds, there is a new book on legendary filmmaker Koji Wakamatsu being released on November 26th - a mere few days from this writing! It seems that this will be the first tome on Wakamatsu-san to be released in the Western world. However, there is a slight drawback for those whose principal language is English - the book will be released in France, and will only be in French. Yet if you can understand the language, it is certainly worth a look. It will include essays by Wakamatsu himself in which he will talk about his filmmaking career, the Japanese film industry as it was from the 1960s to the 1980s and the pinku eiga genre in which he made his name. The book will also include an essay by Nagisa Oshima, an interview conducted by Go Hirasawa and an analysis by Jean-Baptiste Thoret. Click on the following links to see details about a career-spanning retrospective of Wakamatsu's works taking place at the Cinémathèque Française (set to coincide with the release of the book), a summary of the book itself and a review of it - all of which in French.
Hopefully this retrospective and publication will be signs of things to come for English viewers and readers eager to learn more about this fascinating filmmaker. In the meantime, though, there is a pretty great book already out there to tide people over: Jasper Sharp's thoroughly-researched "Behind the Pink Curtain: The Complete History of Japanese Sex Cinema," which features a fair bit of information on Wakamatsu, his rise in the pinku eiga ranks and his remarkable collaboration with Masao Adachi.