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Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Wife to be Sacrificed (1974)

I mentioned that I would be viewing some films in the NFT's 'Wild Japan' season and this was the first. While the previous season tended to feature horror films of sorts, this one's emphasis seems to be on erotic films from classics like "Ai No Corrida" through 'pinku' movies, which as I have mentioned previously are nothing to do with gay cinema, but are generally soft porn. It takes a great deal to shock me -- at my age I think I have seen it all! -- but I was frankly taken aback that this particular and apparently very successful film of the 'Roman Porno' subgenre received a showing at such a generally serious and 'proper' venue. What surprised me even further is that there was little artistic value to justify its inclusion.

The story concerns the very lush-figured actress Naomi Tani (who became one of the leading queens of Japanese S & M) playing the estranged wife of an escaped convict -- known for his sexual battery AND paedophilia -- who is kidnapped by him and taken to a remote cabin. There she is trussed up in incredibly complicated ropes -- bondage remains a popular subject in Japanese photography -- and subjected to various tortures including dripping wax (forget about Madonna!) and sexual subjugation. Eventually she comes to enjoy this torment and the fiend adds a suicidal couple to the sexual menage. This is probably the first time I have seen a graphic portrayal of an enema featured as suitable screen viewing. I don't honestly think I am being much of a prude, but I am still searching for some way of justifying the film's excesses. They were, frankly, neither a turn-on nor entertainment of any description.

OK, it's all part of my ongoing education, but I do hope the next film we are seeing in this short season is less of a disappointment.

And where's the ping?
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