For those of you who are unaware, Pinku Eiga (Pink Film) is a genre-style of filmmaking that operated as Japanese Sexploitation which took over the major studios during the 70’s. Whether it’s a Pink Film or Roman Porno, you choose. My favorite Pinku Eiga is: 女囚７０１号 さそり Joshuu 701 Go – Sasori/ Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion. Also, I love Meiko Kaji.
I guess I’ll be the first to reply. I haven’t seen many at all, but if Toshio Matsumoto’s Funeral Parade of Roses (薔薇の葬列, Bara no Sōretsu) qualifies, then it’s most definitely my favourite. I found that film to be quite revolutionary.
I’ve wanted to see a few pinku eiga films, but I never know what to start with. I saw the trailer for Blind Love, and that one looked good, but I’m basically at a loss when it comes to this genre.
Haven’t seen any. I’d reckon most of the forum can say the same.
So recommend some. :’(
Lady Snowblood, if that qualifies.
When I think of Pinku, I invariably think of The Bedroom or Noboru Iguchi .
There are a lot of great ones, but my favorite is undoubtedly Joshuu sasori: Kemono-beya “Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable” (Shunya Ito / 1973). It’s currently in my Top 50 – so I doubt any of the other films will get close to it in the near future. But I long to see Norifumi Suzuki’s "School of the Holy Beast. Here’s a magnificent excerpt on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i69qGpbeDKE
Haven’t seen too many, but my favorite is “Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion”. “Sex and Fury” was ok as well. Anyone own the pinky violence dvd-set?
I have yet to see a “pinku eiga” film. Can you recomend some classics?
I went through a bit of a pinky phase – tracked down about a dozen or so – but ultimately decided I wasn’t into it. The filmmakers seemed more interested in the brutal rape footage than the eventual revenge sequences. But hey, to each their own. If rape is your thing, pinky’s your man.
Samuryan, do you mind listing which films you had seen? I’m just asking because I have recently gotten into the genre myself, and have had a completely different experience. Of the handful I’ve seen (including Delinquent Girl Boss, Lady Snowblood & Female Yakuza Tale…) the main aspect is the incredibly strong female characters, who are not victims but rather heroines. They are aware of their sexuality, and the film features it, but never exploits it. While nudity is prominent, the films never become pornographic in an American sense. It’s refreshing to see female characters akin to those portrayed by Pam Grier during the blaxploitation era of film.
Of the three you’ve listed, Boomstick, the only film I would really define as “pinku” would be Delinquent Girl Boss. Check out any of the genre’s true staples (i.e., Red Handcuffs, Sex & Fury, Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion) for some good old-fashioned gang rape action. Is this what female character’s have to endure and overcome to be considered “strong”?
If you’re really interested in strong female characters in Japanese cinema try something by Ozu, Mizoguchi, or Miyazaki. Calling Pinky Violence a celebration of strong women is akin to calling Amos & Andy a celebration of the African-American experience.
And incidentally, an hour and a half of Foxy Brown being abused – followed by 30 seconds of “justice” – never really did it for me either.
I’d Love to Bejuan, Sano and Boomstickplease mentioned some great ones as well. Some I would start with would be Female Convict 701: Scorpion, Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable, Shogun’s Joys of Torture, Horrors of Malformed Men, Abashiri Prison Series, The Blind Women’s Curse (is a fun one since it’s kaleidoscope of genres), The Bite, Go Go Second Time Virgin, Ecstasy of the Angels, The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai, Daydream (dir. Tetsuji Takechi, both versions), Wife to be Sacrificed, Terrifying Girls’ High School: Lynch Law Classroom, Girl Boss Guerilla, Sex & Fury, School of the Holy Beast.
Hopefully some of those films pique your interest. Some Dir. I recommend are: Shunya Ito, Teruo Ishii, Koji Wakamatsu, Tetsuji Takechi and Masaru Konuma.
Some Stars of the era: Meiko Kaji (she didn’t star in many pink films but did in many cult classics, such as Lady Snowblood), Reiko Ike, Miki Sugimoto, Naomi Tani and Junko Miyashita.
Hope this helped all who are interested. I’d like to hear you opinions once you get a hold of pink film.
And Yes Myra, I would say Funeral Parade of Roses counts. It didn’t have a home and was lost somewhere between Pink film and Japanese New Wave but what a interesting picture.
Samuryan, I’ve just recently gotten into Ozu. I have a feeling some treasures are ahead of me. What would you classify the other films as being labeled under, if not Pinky Violence (Female Yakuza Tale is a sequel to Sex & Fury, I’m wondering how the two differ?) I’d rather persue that path, then. I have purchased The Pinky Violence Collection from Panik House and will be finishing off that set. I’ll check out the Female Prisoner series shortly as well, as it has been on my to-see list for quite some time.
Sort of off-topic but relevant to our discussion, I don’t recall Foxy Brown being abused at all within the film. While she is placed in dangerous situations, she is always seemingly in-control, and often redirects the situation from the blundering hands of the male characters surrounding her. While having a female character surrounded by male idiocy is a lazy way of establishing a female character as being strong, I respect the effort put forth by the director through his use of contrast, at the very least making us aware at the message he was trying to get across.
Bejuan, and excellent starting point lies here: http://www.grindhousedatabase.com/index.php/Pinky_Violence:A_Beginner%27sGuide
@Tristan: Yes! Finally, someone who has seen it. :D I agree… I wasn’t quite sure if it qualified more under pinku eiga or nuberu bagu, but I guess it’s both. I’d recommend that one to anyone who wants to check out a film from either genre.
I personally want to see some films by Kōji Wakamatsu. Who wouldn’t be intrigued with such titles as Go, Go Second Time Virgin and The Embryo Hunts in Secret?
I have quite a few Wakamatsu titles, but unfortunately, I don’t believe I can make them available on youtube, lol.
EDIT: Oh, and by the way, I’m not a big fan of the pinku eiga genre. It’s just too dark and disturbing for me. And this isn’t meant as a wholesale slight to Japanese society and culture—I’m Korean-American, but my family has long and intimate ties to Japan, with several family members having been born and raised there and a few of them still living there assimilated as Japanese—but I just can’t reconcile the scenes of torture and rape as mere fantasy or imagination. Many of these unthinkable acts were routinely perpetrated upon civilian populations by Japanese troops during WW II, and often as a matter of policy.
@ Boomstick -
I’d lump Lady Snowblood in with the Lone Wolf’s and Hanzo the Razor stuff – Jidaigeki Exploitation. As for Female Yakuza Tale, I always thought it was so batshit all-over-the-place crazy that it kind of transcended the Pinku label. And as for Foxy’s woes, it’s been a while, but isn’t she abducted by some redneck farmers and, well, taken out to pasture?
I’d really like to stress that I don’t want to discourage film exploration in any genre, and having read over my previous posts, I may be coming off a bit self-righteous. Pinku may not be my personal cup o’ tea, but it bleeds style, and the inventive characters and scenarios are something no true student of cinema should write off.
I guess, like everything else, it’s all about perspective.
I don’t think Foxy Brown is anywhere nearly focused on torturing and raping of females as many of the films of the pinku eiga genre are.
Undoubtedly, Blue K.
Wakamatsu definitely made some interesting films.. Go, Go Second Time Virgin and Violent Virgin being favorites.
Check out Akio Jissoji’s Prosperities of Vice..visually arresting if nothing else..
Woods are Wet: Women’s Hell..
I also love Meiko Kaji. A lot of what’s already been mentioned I can second..
Some are just straight up offensive, especially when they have exclamation points in the title (Raping!, Assault! Jack the Ripper!) A couple of these rip off the music from Kind of Blue!
I was just about to crack open Behind the Pink Curtain: The Complete History of Japanese Sex Cinema by Jasper Sharp. I’m not sure why I have the sudden interest. It’s just a phase, I’ll grow out of it!
Sorry, time for bed.
Don’t forget that Criterion released the most extreme of these films. In the Realm of the Senses has penetration, no blurring. And if you know Japanese Cinema like I do? Then you know the perverts at Criterion, literally found a needle in a haystack.
Also Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs is definitely one of the most excessive of these films. It’s also backed-up with a plot, and sub-plots; so I highly reccommend it. The violence is excessive, but it has just as much story as, Lilya 4-Ever, The Night Porter, Eros, Funny Games, Requiem For A Dream, Salo, Naked, Fat Girl, Man Bites Dog, and Sideways. If you think any of those films were artistic? Then you should be able to see the art in Japan’s Pinky Violence . Especially, if you liked anything about “Kill Bill” and Godards “Made in U.S.A.” The color-schemes in some of these Japanese Pink Films are ridiculous, in a good way. If anybody really wants to get into this genre? Check out the book Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film by Chris D. Meiko Kaji gives a straight-forward and honest Interview.
“It’s Immature. How can we get hopes and dreams from it? It makes me sad. But it’s not as if I’m saying that I’m so great or superior or that I could do better. It’s not about that. The whole industry needs to aspire to higher things. Right now, culturally, we’re very poor and we’re not growing. -Meiko Kaji
I love Pinky Violence. Of course it’s usually exploitation, but that’s the point. But in the great films I’ve seen, there’s neither a strong female character who gets her revenge, nor a victim of rape portrayed for the (male) audience to gaze upon. The Female Prisoner films by Ito for example show a broken person in a horrible world. I don’t see much fun in it. Straightforward drama – that’s what it is for me.
Wakamatsu is a genius, and the few films I’ve seen from his oevre are outstanding works of art. Most of the interesting Pink Films I’ve encountered are actually very critical of (Japanese) society.
I think you shouldn’t mix the Vision of a director or individual films, with the interests of the industry. So the quote by Kaji in my opinion fits to the state of the Japanese film inustry at that time, but personally i couldn’t think of better films to play in than female prisoner Scorpion or Lady Snowblood. Some of the best films ever made in the world, I prefer them to most established “Classics” by the likes of Kurosawa, Naruse, Ozu or Mizoguchi.
I second the book by Chris D. As the title says: OUTLAW MASTERS OF JAPANESE FILM.
Tristan and Boom
Thaks for the info I’m going to look into your recomendations.
entrails of a virgin/beautiful woman
splatter: naked blood is one of my favorites. may not fit as well into this category
nice to see a bit of discussion about the pinku films – i saw sex and fury yesterday, which wasn’t amazing, but quite fun.
the best of them, like the first three female prisoner scorpion films, lady snowblood, etc, are brilliantly unhinged, inventive, beautiful films. morally dubious, to an extent, yes, but especially with those examples i think there’s a genuine argument for seeing them as empowering their female heroines (patronising as that sounds).
funeral parade of roses is fab too, although i see it as located within a somewhat more ‘arthouse’ idiom, and i actually find it a lot harder to watch as it doesn’t seem intended to have the same sort of balls-to-the-wall, blood-splattering vicarious thrill in mind.
Wife to Be Sacrificed, all the way! Who doesn’t love Tani?
Inferno of Torture
anyway, thanks for the recommendations, tristan
I think I’ve been holding off on this genre long enough. Miike’s been my training ground. Let’s see how I handle the real ring.
From the top, then… first title I was able to find was Funeral Parade of Roses. Should be finished downloading in a day or two. Meanwhile, as it’s under discussion whether it counts as Pinku Eiga, it will help me gradually build into it.
I have a lot of tolerance for Japanese cinema but sometimes I get really tired of rape in movies, it starts not only to be sickening for the act of it but for how often it is used in movies to be sickening. So I guess I’ll have to take a deep breath before submerging in this movie pool.
If anyone’s interested, I compiled (that is, copied and pasted) a study on pinku eiga here:
Behind the Fusuma Screen