Think Pink

The image of the polite, conformist Japanese person somehow lingers despite (or because of) the last decade’s onslaught of J-horror flicks. Pink Cinema Revolution: The Radical Films of Koji Wakamatsu revives the low-budget master of pinku eiga exploitation to kick out the jams and the stereotypes once and for all. Wakamatsu’s aggressive blend of soft-core sex, hardcore violence, and political revolt was a shock to the system in the '60s and '70s, especially one in thrall to passive materialism and the American military. 1972’s The Ecstasy of Angels (Oct. 8 and 11), the opening salvo in the series, centers on a cadre of rebels who divide their time between screwing and plotting. In Wakamatsu’s inflamed worldview, sex isn’t an expression of liberation (blow jobs against the empire?) but a desperate escape from the horror of everyday life. Or worse, in the adulterous affair between former college lovers and protesters that drives Secrets Behind the Wall (Oct. 10), a depressing, neonostalgic substitute for real action. The seven-film retrospective concludes Oct. 29 with the gutsy, harrowing United Red Army (2007), a self-financed docudrama that proves the director has stayed true to the idealism of the '60s.
Thu., Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m., 2009

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