May 03

Never Forever (2007) aka 두번째 사랑

Sophie Lee has been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant. Her husband’s family, devout Korean Catholics, prays for the couple. His failure to have a child is deeply shameful to him, so when he attempts suicide, Sophie tries something extreme: she follows an undocumented immigrant – a Korean who resembles her husband – from a fertility clinic to his apartment in New York City where she proposes to hire him to sire her child. She offers $300 per session and $30,000 if she gets pregnant. After several sessions, neither is able to keep emotion out of the arrangement. Where can this relationship go, and what about her husband? Will her actions save him and their marriage?

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Apr 21

Chain Gang Girls (2007) aka Kûga no ori: Nami dai-42 zakkyobô

Specialized penitentiary was designed from the ground up to hold Japan’s most ruthless female inmates. That makes it doubly deadly, because while the guards may be brutal and sadistic, the inmates outnumber them by a hundred to one! At any second the final, fatal riot may erupt, stoking the flames of a thousand forbidden desires into an all-consuming inferno where it’s every woman for herself! The shocking reality of Japan’s secret prison system is exposed in Chain Gang Girls!

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Apr 13

The Story of Chun-Hyang (2000) aka Chunhyangdyun

Mongryong marries the beautiful Chunhyang without telling his father, the Governor of Namwon. When his father is transferred to Seoul, Mongryong has to leave Chunhyang and finish his exams. Chunhyang, being the daughter of a courtesan, is also legally a courtesan. She is beaten and imprisoned when she refuses to obey the new Governor Byun, as she wishes to be faithful to her husband. After three years, Mongryong passes his exam and becomes an emissary to the King. He returns to Namwon, disguised as a beggar, just before Chunhyang is to be flogged to death at the governor’s birthday celebration.

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Mar 27

Lustful Secretary (2007) aka 撩動我心

Miyake’s father was tricked by Yanase and committed suicide 10 years ago. Miyake swears vengeance on the murderer when she grows up, and she works as a secretary in Yanase’s law film and desperately waits for one chance. In order to collect the Yanase’s incriminating evidence from his assistant, Miyake even seduces him by offering sex. One day, Yanase’s daughter Yumi suddenly disappears. Miyake decides to grab his chance to revenge.

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Mar 21

Si-sei (2006) aka Si-Sei aka Shisei: The Tattooer

shiseiSi-Sei or Tattoo (the translated title is sometimes given as The Tattooist or The Tattooer) was Tanizaki’s first work to appear in print, appearing as part of a collection of short stories in 1910 that effectively launched his career. The tale is of a tattoo artist who abducts a young girl and indelibly monograms the large image of a spider on the flawless canvas of lily-white skin. The tattoo brings about a massive change in her personality, awakening in her an awareness of her sexuality. This is very much an atytpical Sato film – there are only two actors, one set, little nudity or sex, and quite a lot of dialogue. However, his usual obsessions are still present.

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Mar 18

Sadistic Yoga (2006)

The female instructor Mariko gives yoga classes at a high-class club in Tokyo. She has a crush on Rika whom she gives private lessons to. When she notices bruises on Rika’s body, Mariko learns that the young woman is involved in a highly abusive S&M relationship. On order to gain the affections of her student, Mariko decides to take revenge against the men in Rika’s life.

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Feb 22

Searching for the Elephant (2009) aka Pen-teu-ha-woo-seu ko-kki-ri

The film depicts the hollow lives of affluent thirty-something young urban professionals in Seoul. The protagonists are three childhood friends, each struggling with a compulsion: schizophrenia, sex addiction, and infidelity. The revelation of their secrets exacerbates their sense of deprivation, and the three friends are inevitably led to a shocking finale when they learn that growing pains are not just distant memories of their youth.

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