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A Genre of Japanese Cinema from the 60s gets Reignited

Classic and Lido Cinemas are helping to revive a genre of Japanese films that flourished from the mid-1960s to the mid-80s: the ‘pink film‘ or ‘Roman Porno.’

Focusing on a limited season of two new release films, Wet Woman in the Wind (opens July 12) and Antiporno (opens July 19), the Roman Porno Reboot series at Classic and Lido will also include two retrospective titles to contextualise the genre for audiences.

These retrospective titles are Lovers are Wet (1973) and Night of the Felines (1972).

The Roman Porno Reboot was sparked by Japan’s oldest major movie studio, Nikkatsu. Nikkatsu wanted to mark the 45th anniversary since the studio’s own first ‘Pink Films’ began to be made, in order to stave off bankruptcy.

The studio incentivised directors with more freedom as long as their films adhered to the following rules: they had to be shot in under one week, have a total running time below 80 minutes, stay on a very limited budget, and have a sex scene every 10 minutes. The last film of this series was made in 1988.

Pink Films (Pinku Eiga) have “no relation at all to erotica in the rest of the world…They are fully realised films, often done with great artistry and a fabulous imagination. They proved to be the testing grounds of many young visionary directors who later went on to more mainstream projects.” – John Zorn, The Dark Side of the Sun.

Heavily restricted by censorship, (despite novels and manga having much more lenient regulations when it came to depicting sexual expressions), Pink Films were about much more than close-ups of genitals. They engaged the spectator by delving into the complexity of gender and the stranger, darker reaches of the human psyche.

Both Wet Woman in the Wind and Antiporno were still required to follow the traditional rules of Pink Films for the sake of the revival project.

Wet Woman in the Wind tells the story of a young playwright, who has sworn off women and fled the city to find some peace in a remote mountain lodge. However, a sexually insatiable woman he encounters there becomes determined to seduce him, setting off a hilarious battle of the libidos.

Antiporno is about Kyoko, a renowned experimental artist, who considers her hyper-sexuality to have been a crucial part of her success. One day, her secretary makes a desperate plea to Kyoko to make her a whore too, but the lines between fiction and reality soon begin to blur and the secrets about Kyoko’s past rise to the surface.

“The softcore feminist romp ushering in the Roman Porno New Wave Sion Sono’sAntiporno explores the untapped sexual imagination of women.” – Little White Lies

ROMAN PORNO REBOOT PROGRAM:

Classic
Friday 29 June, 7pm: Lovers are Wet (1973)
Friday 6 July, 7pm: Night of the Felines (1972)
Thursday 12 July: Wet Woman in the Wind (2018) limited season commences
Thursday 19 JulyAntiporno (2018) limited season commences

Lido
Friday 29 June, 9pm: Lovers are Wet (1973)
Friday 6 July, 9pm: Night of the Felines (1972)
Thursday 12 July: Wet Woman in the Wind (2018) limited season commences
Thursday 19 JulyAntiporno (2018) limited season commences

LOCATIONLido Cinemas, and Classic Cinemas.

 






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