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VIDEO: The Hardcore History Lessons of Koji Wakamatsu

Video
by Kevin B. Lee
April 11, 2012 7:45 PM
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WARNING: This video contains explicit sexual and violent content and is intended for mature audiences. Parental discretion is advised.

Koji Wakamatsu—known as the Godfather of the pink movie, a genre of Japanese softcore exploitation films that started in the 1960s—has made over 100 movies, and is enjoying the most acclaimed period of his career thanks to two recent films that have much more on their mind than sex. Both films, United Red Army (2007) and Caterpillar (2010), are available on Fandor. This video essay explores how these films amount to hardcore history lessons: Wakamatsu uses low-budget exploitation filmmaking techniques to cast a critical eye on Japanese history during periods of prevailing militant ideology, as well as a brutally honest assessment of human nature.

Originally published on Fandor. Read a transcript of this video.

Kevin B. Lee is Editor in Chief of IndieWire’s PressPlay Video Blog and contributor to Roger Ebert.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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