Feb 13

The Golden Lotus (1974) aka Jin ping shuang yan

There have been many film versions of “The Golden Lotus”, the most erotic novel in Chinese history, but none have combined artistry with sensuality as successfully as this 1974 classic, featuring three of the screen’s sexiest stars. The director was already famous for his historical epics and modern sex comedies, but here outdoes himself in this recounting of the murders, corruptions, and sexual exploits of a Sung Dynasty lothario 900 years ago. (IVL)

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Feb 06

A Woman Who Wasn’t Loved (2016) aka 사랑받지 못한 여자 (sa-rang-bad-ji mo-shan yeo-ja)

Do-kyeong (Sin Won-ho) who is fresh out of the military meets mysterious Ga-in (Kim Hwa-yeon) on a boat to a deserted island. He is attracted by her fragility and thinks she might disappear soon. That evening, the two of them meet again at a bar called Yubari and spend the night together. Ga-in has a growing passion inside of her and Do-kyeong struggles to free himself from her obsession.

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Jan 24

Utopians (2015) aka Tung lau hap woo

This film tells the story of a university student in Hong Kong, who lives with his mother and has a Catholic girlfriend. One day, he attends a class on Greek philosophy, and he gets intrigued by the professor. Deeper and deeper, he is drawn into the mysterious world of sexual seduction.

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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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