Archive for April 11th, 2009


by Allan Fish

(Japan 1968 108m) not on DVD

Aka. Hatsukoi: Jigoku-hen

It’s against the law to show pubic hair

p  Tomoji Fujui, Satoshi Fuji  d  Susumu Hani  w  Susumu Hani, Shuji Terayama  ph  Yuji Okumura  ed  Susumu Hani  m  Toru Takemitsu, Akio Yashiro  art  Kuniyoshi Kaneko

Akio Takahashi (Shun), Kuniko Ishii (Nanami), Minoru Yuasa (Ankokuji), Kazuko Fukuda (Mrs Otagaki), Ichiro Kimura (psychiatrist), Haruo Asanu (Algebra),Kazuo Kimura (Doctor),

The very title of Susumu Hani’s seminal late sixties work conjures up a rather different idea of what the film might be about, bringing forth images from the subconscious memory about our own first desires, from the fall of the hair, a glimpse of thigh, a hint of breast, and the first clumsy fumblings.  Hani’s film could not be further from such nostalgia, as his inferno is every bit as dark as such a volcanic reference might suggest.

            An orphan youth, left by his mother when he was seven, and afterwards living with adoptive parents, falls in love with a pretty nude model, but finds himself unable to consummate his love for her.  Her involvement in increasingly disturbing, degrading games corresponds to his visits to a psychiatrist, where we find out that he was the victim of molestation from his adoptive father.  Meanwhile, his befriending of a little girl who lives near him will have shattering consequences for all concerned. (more…)

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