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Issue 70: Koji Wakamatsu


Ecstasy of the Angels

Kôji Wakamatsu: Porn, politics and provocation

This month we honour the late Kôji Wakamatsu, great provocateur and ‘godfather of the pink movie’, who mixed sex, violence and politics to explosive effect. We have reviews of Violent Virgin, Running in Madness, Dying in Love, Go, Go Second-Time Virgin, Secret Acts behind Walls, Pool without Water and Caterpillar, as well as a Comic Strip Review of Naked Bullet and a Reel Sounds column on the Ecstasy of the Angels soundtrack. An article taken from Behind the Pink Curtain by Jasper Sharp looks at Wakamatsu’s career and we have an interview with the man himself on his Mishima film, 11.25. The Day He Chose His Own Fate, one of his last to be completed.

In cinemas this month we review Martin McDonagh’s follow-up to In Bruges, comedy crime thriller Seven Psychopaths, Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, fun Irish monster movie Grabbers, which was a hit on the festival circuit, and American documentary West of Memphis, about the fascinating case of alleged teen murderers.

In DVDs and Blu-rays we review the new restoration of Lucio Fulci’s classic Zombie Flesh Eaters. In Alter Ego, novelist Tanya Byrne is Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs. In the blog, we report back on the Toronto festival and the Viennale, and the demise of the China Independent Film Festival due to the Chinese government’s recent clampdown on cultural events.

PODCASTS:

Kôji Wakamatsu: Sexual politics and political sex: Behind the Pink Curtain author Jasper Sharp talks about the late Kôji Wakamatsu, one of the most radical and provocative filmmakers of post-war Japan, and explains the context of the soft porn industry and the period of social and political unrest in which his work developed.

Spencer Hickman on Death Waltz Records: Spencer Hickman, founder of Death Waltz Records, specialising in cult film soundtracks on limited coloured vinyl with exclusive new artwork, talks to Virginie Sélavy about his label and plays tracks from his releases, which include Halloween II and III, Zombie Flesh Eaters, Donnie Darko and Let the Right One In, and music that has influenced him.

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