Koji Wakamatsu

Kôji Wakamatsu – Nihon bôkô ankokushi: Ijôsha no chi AKA Abnormal Blood (1967)

Synopsis: A detective investigating a serial rapist discovers that he and the perpetrator come from the same lineage of depraved individuals, a genealogy of violent and sexually perverse deviants that streches through the Meiji, Taisho and Showa eras and can even be traced back to the Edo era. Read More »

Kôji Wakamatsu – Zoku Nihon bôkô ankokushi: Bôgyakuma AKA Dark Story Of A Japanese Rapist (1967)

Synopsis:
Fresh off the box-office success of Violated Angels, an eroticized dramatization of the Richard Speck case, director Koji Wakamatsu turned his attention to another real-life criminal, Yoshio Kodaira, the rapist who terrorized Tokyo in the post-WWII period. Renamed Marqui de Sadao here, and played with a skillfully detached cruelty by future director Osamu Yamashita (Joji Zankokushi), the rapist is depicted as far more perverse than his real-life model, including whipping and mutilation in his bag of evil tricks. As in Wakamatsu’s previous film, capitalism takes the blame for nearly every wrong in Japanese society, but in the context of such an exploitative and calculated attempt to earn box-office attention, much of the social criticism falls flat. Miki Hayashi co-stars with Kazue Sakamoto and Mikiko Ohkawa. Read More »

Kôji Wakamatsu – Nippon boko ankokushi: onju AKA The Hateful Beast (1970)

Synopsis: In the Edo era, two man arrive in a village and engage in criminal activity. While one of them becomes successful and rich, the other gets betrayed and ends up in prison, burning for revenge. The truth changes with the viewpoint in this previously unavailable Wakamatsu film, which has inspired comparisons to Rashomon. Read More »

Masao Adachi & Kôji Wakamatsu – Sekigun-P.F.L.P: Sekai sensô sengen AKA Red Army/PFLP: Declaration of World War (1971)

Quote:
It was a milestone of film as activism, cinema as movement in Japan’s context. Adachi and Wakamatsu went to Beirut on the way back from the Cannes Film Festival. There, in collaboration with the Red Army members and PFLP, they produced this newsreel film depicting the everyday activities of Arab guerrillas as a cinematic narrative on the world revolution. Being a fusion of intense agitation and the ‘landscape theory’ approach inherited from “Aka. Serial Killer,” the film was conceived as a new form of news report, and was discussed in synchronicity with J-L Godard’s Dziga Vertov Group and the revolutionary films of Latin America, transcending geographical distances. Read More »

Kôji Wakamatsu – Ranko AKA The Orgy (1967)

Quote:
A professional hitman, turned against the world that made him and sensationalizes what he does, kills in the hope to one day take back pieces of his past. It’s a world void of connections, trust or meaning, embroiled by fleeting encounters with fugitive women, who along with the other usual croutons sprinkling similar films of the time – diversions and subversion, greed and hijinks, the nameless political element, egalitarian dreams coming up against walls of economy – make a Wakamatsu salad where every ingredient has its untold price that everyone will be made to pay. Read More »

Kôji Wakamatsu – 11·25 jiketsu no hi: Mishima Yukio to wakamono-tachi AKA AKA 11.25: The Day He Chose His Own Fate (2012)

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On November 25th 1970, a man committed ritual suicide inside the Tokyo headquarters of the Japanese Ministry of Defence, leaving behind a legacy of masterpieces and a controversy that echoes to this day. The man was Yukio Mishima, one of Japan’s greatest and most celebrated novelists. With four members of his own private army – the Tatenokai – Mishima had taken the commandant hostage and called upon the assembled military outside the Ministry to overthrow their society and restore the powers of the Emperor. When the soldiers mocked and jeered Mishima, he cut short his speech and withdrew to the commandant’s office where he committed seppuku – the samurai warrior’s death – tearing open his belly with a ceremonial knife before being beheaded by one of his colleagues. What was Mishima truly trying to express through his actions? And what did he witness during his final moments? Read More »

Kôji Wakamatsu – Kabe no naka no himegoto AKA Secrets behind the wall aka Affairs within walls (1965)

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壁の中の秘事

Three or four different stories of people living in the same apartment complex, adultery couple, student lost in voyeurism or just a lonely wife. Emotions and feelings generated by poor oppressive architecture, social study of post-war Japan, dramas of family life. Read More »