[jahsonic.com] - [Next >>]

Masaru Konuma

Related: Japan - film



During the 60’s and 70’s, Nikkatsu Studios transformed themselves into a veritable dream machine (visions drowning in sulphurous hot moisture that echoes with screams and moans emitted by peppy young virgins hungry for experience and strong sensations)… Already a ground-breaker in the world of creative, artistic and philosophical erotic cinema, Nikkatsu began a new label in 1971 called ROMAN PORNO. A series of edgy works, it ultimately gave birth to some of the greatest films ever produced in Japan. For the occasion, Nikkatsu hired some of the most talented directors they could find (amongst them masters like Tatsumi Kumashiro, Noboru Tanaka and Chusei Sone). These filmmakers (later joined by such greats as Shusuke Kaneko, Shinji Somai, Takashi Ishii and Kiyoshi Kurosawa) had the obligation to deliver a certain amount of erotic encounters per film, and beyond that were given complete artistic freedom. Of that era, the director that remains the least known, is Masaru Konuma. This documentary lends homage to this great artist, a specialist in cinematic sadomasochism and eroticism that hurts in more ways than one, having had directed more than 47 films for Nikkatsu, including WET VASE (76), IN THE REALM OF SEX (77), OFFICE LADY: LUSTY JOURNAL (77) and the classic of sexual and violent excess WOMAN IN THE BOX: VIRGIN SACRIFICED (1985).

No doubt that ignoring Masaru Konuma for much longer would have plunged us all into cultural apartheid. Thankfully, the time to right this wrong is here and it is none other than Hideo Nakata (RING 1+2, CHAOS) that has done it. S&M is a documentary that avoids the typical trappings of informative over-load and historical obsession. It plays forth (with a principal thread being an intimate interview between Nakata and Konuma) more like a series of memories, not only of the era, but of these films’ mutual creations. Everything is inter-cut with incredibly astounding clips from Konuma’s movies, as well as a touching sequence where actress Naomi Tani (a famous icon of sadistic Japanese cinema) and Konuma reunite to watch their WIFE TO BE SACRIFICED for the first time since its release (1974, formerly presented at FANTASIA 99 and an ultimate classic of perverse art), giving saucy stories from the shoot (most notably its famous scatological sequence). Having been Konuma’s assistant, Nakata is the only one who could create such an apt homage to the maestro. S&M is a fascinating documentary that manages to lift the veil (finally!) that was shrouding one of the most unforgettable periods of Japanese cinema history. An amusing side note – Masaru Konuma directed NAGISA last year, a children’s film (and his first non-erotic film), which won him the “Children’s Prize” at the Berlin Film Festival. (Julien Fonfrède) --http://fantasia.visionglobale.ca/pages/eng/asp/film.asp?id=99 [Jun 2004]

Wife To Be Sacrificed (1975) - Masaru Konuma

  • Wife To Be Sacrificed (1975) - Masaru Konuma [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Queen of Japanese erotica Naomi Tani plays a wife who charges her husband with sexual battery. He escapes from the police and goes into hiding. Three years pass, she divorces him and tries to put the pieces of her life back in order when suddenly he returns. Obsessed with rage and hatred, he kidnaps her and brings her to a house in a remote wooded area. There he disciplines her vehemently, subjecting her to increasingly shocking forms of sexual torture, tetherings, suspensions and humiliations. Astonishingly, through the rage and lust, the pair develop a relationship that pushes the boundaries of lurid passions and perverse obsessions. --amazon.com

    'Wife' is one of the best examples of the Japanese Film Industry's notorious pink films made in 1974 by Nikkatsu Studios. Starring the Queen of Japanese SM Naomi Tani, 'Wife' is the story of an abducted woman who overpowers her abusive husband by succumbing to the pleasures of masochism. The film articulates a social commentary through the depiction of graphic SM scenes that fuction as a metaphor for gender relations in Japanese society. The underlying theme of the movie is to suggest that there is an impossibility of romantic love between japanese men and women and that sadism and masochism are possibly alternative forms of love than those of social obligation or the reani kekkon (Love marriages). The film asks us (well the japanese of 1974) to take a closer look at our realtionships to each other and roles within society which may be in itself the bigger of SM relationship than that of the personal one depicted in the pink film. Overall its a gruelling film to watch but Pasolini's SALO was never intended to be fun entertainment either. The amazon video tape reviewed here is a quality transfer from the original uncensored Japanese 35mm print which retains the crystalline cinematography and minimal soundtrack. The film is subtitled which is required for an artistic film with such a rare tension between cruelty and beauty.-- Gary W Needham, amazon.co.uk

    your Amazon recommendations - Jahsonic - early adopter products

    Managed Hosting by NG Communications