prog: 1324

Pink & Violent

Offscreen presents eight films -all in vintage 35mm- that will take you on an unusual journey through the Japanese exploitation cinema of the 70s, where grindhouse, arthouse, avant-garde and exploitation come together in an ingenious way. Join us for a cinematographic trip filled with pop art images, daring visuals, anti-establishment provocation and pure political anarchy. If topless girl gangs and sword-wielding virgins out to get revenge are your thing, you’re in for a treat.

Like in most countries, Japanese cinemas suffered immensely with the advent of television in the late 60s. While Hollywood tried to lure in audiences by developing new technologies like Technicolor, the Japanese film industry found its own solution, namely to shock audiences with things that were too controversial for the small screen! Major studios like Toei and Nikkatsu averted financial disaster by venturing into what was until then the playground for smaller production companies: "Pink eiga", or "pink films".

Nikkatsu launched a series of bizarre erotic films, "Roman-Porno", characterized by dreamy atmospheres and softcore S&M scenes. Toei responded by creating the more action-oriented "Pinky Violence" films; exploitation cinema with a healthy dose of violence and nudity! Most recognizable for their strong-willed and independent female protagonists, as sexy as they are lethal, these films walked a fine line between pure exploitation and female emancipation and empowerment.

The genre’s hey-day was in the 70s, when these films could count on elaborate production value and commercial success among male and female audiences alike. A whole new generation of filmmakers like Norifumi Suzuki, Teruo Ishii, Kinji Fukasaku and Shunya Ito were given the opportunity to create a new and innovative style whose influence is still felt today, while actresses like Meiko Kaji, Reiko Ike and Miki Sugimoto continue to be cult icons.

*The Female Scorpion character is based on a manga by Toru Shinohara. The episodes in the series continue to be made today, but none of them even come close to the initial trilogy presented tonight in 35mm! The superb Meiko Kaji, who plays Sasori, excels in this radical and practically mute role, the opposite of the original obscenity-spitting manga character. She endures endless challenges and humiliation, thus accumulating a level of hatred rarely achieved in cinema.
Shunya Ito gives each scene a special flavor. The three episodes were released in the space of 11 months! Regardless they are just as coherent as they are different from one another, each own retaining a high level of intensity. The camera movements, colors, music, costumes, sets.. the entire series is surprising and puts all other "women in prison" films to shame. Ito combines the heritage of Kinji Fukasaku and Seijun Suzuki and is able to create a "complete" genre film that is both popular and intelligent, all while proposing parallels between the sadistic prison system and misogyny in Japanses society.*

On this special night, we present the three first (and best) films of the series for a unique price, and all on 35mm prints. Not to be missed!

Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion

Joshuu 701-gô: Sasori

Shunya Ito, 1972, JP, 35mm, ov st ang, 87

The first part of a legendary WIP (Women In Prison) series, and the most pure. Here we hear the tragic story of Matsu, a young girl betrayed by the corrupt detective she was in love with. Nicknamed Sasori (Scorpion), she’s sent to a brutal prison and tortured. The film introduces each character’s background and of course includes all the elements that any self-respecting WIP film should have: sex, violence and a freaky shower scene.

12.03 > 20:00

Female Convict Scorpion: Jailhouse 41

Joshuu sasori: Dai-41 zakkyo-bô

Shunya Ito, 1972, JP, 35mm, ov st fr & ang, 90

With the retiring prison warden on her tails, Sasori manages to escape from prison with a few others. She enters a hostile natural world, confronting a society plagued with vice, merciless policemen and the lack of conviction and beliefs in her fellow companions. A stunning second installment with a touch of poetry and a kabuki-inspired set.

12.03 > 22:00

Female Convict Scorpion: Beast Stable

Joshuu sasori: Kemono-beya

Shunya Ito, 1973, JP, 35mm, ov st ang, 87

Beast Stable, the third film in the series and the last one directed by the brilliant Shunya Ito, sees Sasori (Meiko Kaji), on the run, trying to live a normal life. But life outside of prison might be even more brutal than life inside... .

12.03 > 24:00

Sex & Fury

Furyô anego den: Inoshika Ochô

Norifumi Suzuki, 1973, JP, 35mn, ov st ang, 88

Reiko Ike, once again directed by Norifumi Suzui, embodies Ocho Inoshika, a woman whose murderous nature has been developing since childhood, when her father was murdered before her eyes. In her search for vengeance, she enters a somber world littered with stories of espionage, poker and, of course, sex. You’ll recognize the references Tarantino made in "Kill Bill"... except that here everything is authentically deranged!

13.03 > 22:00

Female Yakuza Tale: Inquisition and Torture

Yasagure anego den: sôkatsu rinchi

Teruo Ishii, 1973, JP, 35mm, ov st ang, 86

The informal follow-up to "Sex & Fury", with Teruo Ishii in the director’s seat. Ike returns as Ocho Inoshika, a vengeful beauty who takes on a serial killer, a brothel madam and finally a gang of drug smugglers who hide their stash in some very unexpected and intimate places...

13.03 > 24:00

Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter

Nora-neko rokku: Sekkusu hanta

Yasuharu Hasebe, 1970, JP, 35mm, ov st ang, 85

Meiko Kaji leads a gang of vicious teenage schoolgirls in a network of misogynist, racist and provincial yakuzas. The city is partially populated by "mixed breeds", children of black American soldiers and their Japanese wives most likely born after the Second World War. Things get complicated when the girls defend the children and one of them confesses she’s "impure" herself. Impeccably stylized and cool, this "Pinky Violence" directed by Yasuharu Hasebe ("Female Prisoner Scorpion") is a forerunner for a wave in the genre that combines action with social commentary.

14.03 > 18:00

Girl Boss Guerilla

Sukeban gerira

Norifumi Suzuki, 1972, JP, 35mn, ov st ang, 84

When the Red Helmet Gang decides to move from Shinjuku to Kyoto, a battle with the local yakuza ensues. Girls on bikes fighting other girls on bikes, sex, violence, slapstick and a nun. This film has it all! Starring two of the biggest cult icons of the pinky era: Miki Sugimoto and Reiko Ike.

14.03 > 22:00

Star of David: Beauty Hunting

Dabide no hoshi: Bishôjo-gari

Norifumi Suzuki, 1979, JP, 35mn, ov st ang, 100

After directing some of the more notable Pinky Violence films, director Norifumi Suziki ("Sex and Fury") left Toei for the studio’s competitor Nikkatsu, at the time riding a wave of success with their "porno novels". The two worlds collide in "Star of David", a perversely fascinating combination of decadence, eroticism and violence.
Tatsuya, the conceived through an act of rape, has been traumtized since childhood. He develops an unhealthy fascination for humiliation, deviance and sex. When both his parents die, he inherits the family fortune and builds torture chambers in the basement of his gigantic home. He seeks out young, pretty girls to lure into in his degenerate games. Suzuki plunges into the depths of this character with the help of an intelligent screenplay, convincing actors and incredible directing. Despite the perturbing, voyeuristic scenes, it’s impossible not to be fascinated and excited by this mix of manga, religious kitsch, eroticism, philosophy and black humor. A film that only Japan could produce!

18.03 > 22:00

lang: en
id_rubrique: 1327
prog: 1324
pos: aval