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From Albania to Zaire, there's a whole world out there.

From the (soft) underbelly of SFIFF - In the Pink: Caveat Emptor
Topic by: JGereben
Posted: April 26, 2006 - 2:20 PM PDT
Last Reply: April 26, 2006 - 2:20 PM PDT

author topic: From the (soft) underbelly of SFIFF - In the Pink: Caveat Emptor
post #1  on April 26, 2006 - 2:20 PM PDT  
In the genre of "pink films," Japanese "pinku" are especially prominent. First-time director Mitsuru Meike, now 37 and working in New York on a Japanese government grant, made his mark with such a work, "The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai." Released in Japan in 2003, the film is just making the rounds at festivals, notably the San Francisco International Film Festival, at the end of April.

Full stop, please, before you waste any more time reading this, unsuspecting. "Pink films" are soft porn, meaning nudity (sans genitals) and enough groping to satisfy any pro wrestling fan. To departing readers, farewell; to those still reading on, a further warning: simulated (but realistic-looking) sex in "Sachiko Hanai" is frequent and furious, brutal and abusive, men the aggressors, Sachiko the rag doll. Also, a certain precious bodily fluid hasn't been this prominent since "Dr. Strangelove" - except that Gen. Ripper just talked about it, but the stuff is on actual display here in copious, if urologically impossible, quantities.

Supposing that you can overlook all that (or regard it as inviting), there is the matter of everything else - just what kind of a movie is this, Mrs. Lincoln?

It's a comedy, stupid, wacky, grotesque, occasionally funny, mostly slapstick. Sachiko (played by the placid- and pneumatic-looking Emi Kuroda) is a call girl on role-playing assignments, all with the same purpose. The film's original name is "Hatsuj˘ kateiky˘shi: sensei no aijiru," meaning "Horny Home Tutor: Teacher's Love Juice." Between her appointed rounds, she stumbles into a gun battle, shot in the forehead, but the bullet doesn't explode, "just" lodges in her brain.

The result: a phenomenal transformation of her mental powers, extending to an impressive analysis of the relationship between Noam Chomsky and North Korea's nuclear power play. A side effect is becoming insensate below her brain, making her role as a sex object even more prominent... and offensive.

The main plot, so to speak, is the appearance of a clone of George W. Bush's finger in a metal cylinder, an object with galactic powers, and - initially - providing the best of poor Sachiko's many affairs.

If you sit through all this, don't miss the end of the credits: a bizarre, haunting rendition of the "Star-Spangled Banner" in Japanese, a capella, by an abysmally untrained female voice.
Janos Gereben

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