Jan 18

The Sea Is Watching (2002) aka Umi wa miteita

19th century. Oshin is a prostitute in a brothel of a red-light district. A disgraced samurai, Fusanosuke, rushes in the brothel seeking for a refuge, because he had wounded a powerful samurai. Oshin hides him from the authorities and falls in love with him, against an older prostitute’s, Kikuno’s, misgiving. Fusanosuke advises Oshin to cleanse herself by giving up her line of work. Believing falsely that this is a promise for marriage, she turns her customers over to the other prostitutes, who are happy to help her. Funasukoke leaves to be reconciled to his family, but, when he returns, he reveals that he is engaged and is going to marry his fiancé. Some time later a desperate itinerant, Ryosuke, appears and Oshin falls in love again. Meanwhile, an older man asks Kikuno to buy her contract and marry her, but she is entangled with an old abusive customer of hers. One night, while the madam of the brothel is away to thermal baths, a storm hits the area and everybody tries to flee. …

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Jan 10

Into the White Night (2009) a.K.a Baekyahaeng: Hayan eodoom sokeul geolda

A pawnbroker is found murdered in a remote town. Police suspect that he was murdered by an acquaintance, as even the most experienced investigator on the case could identify no signs of resistance. Three people come under suspicion but all of them have perfect alibis and the investigation comes to a standstill. One year later, one of them is found dead and the original murder case becomes even more mysterious. Almost fifteen years pass and the lead inspector, now approaching retirement, reflects on the only case he could not solve in an otherwise successful career. Haunted by a sense of responsibility and guilt that he caused suffering by letting the murder case go unsolved, he decides to re-investigate. His persistent search brings attention to the long forgotten case and reveals a hidden relationship between the victim’s son and the neighborhood woman’s daughter. As their love grows, more crimes happen. As their sin grows, the inspector’s chase comes closer to them.

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Dec 12

Red Violation (1980) a.K.a Akai bôkô

red-violation-1980-posterJapanese rock singer Yuya Uchida stars as, not surprisingly, a rock singer named Yuya. He sleeps with a groupie named Megumi (Megumi Saki) after a concert, and she turns out to have been a virgin. This revelation somehow touches Yuya and changes his entire outlook on women and relationships. The rest of his band laughs at him for giving up the traditional rock & roll “hump ’em and dump ’em” ethos, but Yuya decides to enter a committed, monogamous relationship with Megumi and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, as always happens in films like this, fate has other plans. Regardless of the plot specifics, Sone’s tone and presentation set Akai Boko apart from dozens of similar efforts and it remains one of his most memorable films.

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Dec 12

A New Love in Tokyo (1994) a.K.a Ai no shinsekai

new-love-tokyo-1994-coverA look a the lives of two sex workers in Tokyo: Rei, who works as an S&M dominatrix, and Ayumi, in the more straightforward profession of call girl. In addition to their working life, the film also looks at their private lives. Rei is acting in an amateur theatre company (along with the receptionist from Ayumi’s escort service), while Ayumi is living with her student-boyfriend as he struggles to finally get accepted to college.

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Dec 07

Lust, Caution (2007) Uncut a.K.a Se, jie

lust-caution-2007_coverFrustrated in his attempts to assassinate Yee, who is an important official in Japanese-ruled Shanghai, Old Wu, who has lost his wife and two sons as well as two women who had attempted to seduce Yee, now recruits Kuang, Mai Tai Tai, and their troupe of drama students from Hong Kong University in yet another attempt to do away with Yee. Mai Tai Tai is chosen to befriend Yee, which she does by posing as the wife of Mak, befriending Yee’s wife and her female friends, and then eventually befriending Yee himself. Even though both get together, they do end up going separate ways, only to meet again four years later. This time Mai is all set to entrap Yee at Chandni Chowk Jewellers which is owned by an East Indian man named Khalid Saiduddin. The question does remain: Will she and her troupe succeed?

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Dec 05

Naked Killer (1992) Uncut a.K.a Chik loh go yeung

naked-killer-1992-coverThe story of a young flirty feral woman named Kitty who is trained by a martial arts specialist to become a professional assassin. She’s subsequently recruited by the real killer, a hit woman who targets rapists at large and practices on drooling sex-mad psychos chained up in the attic. When they finally head out for the real thing, they take out victims in a display of midair somersaults, cracking whips, flying ropes, and flashing guns. This kind of foreplay attracts the lustful attentions of rival assassin Carrie Ng, a lesbian killer ready to abandon her purring sex kitten for the savage Chingmy.

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Nov 29

Texture of Skin (2007) a.K.a Sal-gyeol (살결)

texture-of-skin-2005_coverA promising photographer Min-woo (Kim Yun-Tae) ran into his ex-lover, Jae-hee (Kim Ju-Ryeong). Jae-hee proposes nine-times-only secret affair, although she was married. They begin to seek sexual relationship everyday. One day, Min-woo witnesses runaway car accident and watches victim dying in his hands. A languid afternoon, Min-woo and Jae-hee are making love, and at the climax, Min-woo was hit by the image of a girl getting raped. From then on, Min-woo experiences strange feelings; a girl’s soul is wandering in his head.

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