Posts tagged "Shigeru Amachi"

Revenge Of The Pearl Queen

Revenge of the Pearl Queen

aka 女真珠王の復讐 aka Onna Shinju-o no Fukushu
Revenge of the Pearl Queen
1956
Screenplay by Isao Matsumoto and Jun Sagara
Story by Yoshihisa Shimizu
Directed by Toshio Shimura

Revenge of the Pearl Queen
Revenge of the Pearl Queen is one of the first of the Japanese Topless Pearl Diver films – called ama (woman diver) films by those in the know. These films caused a sensation upon release due to the fact the starlets would whip off their clothes, giving audiences brief glimpses of nudity that was almost impossible to casually come across in 1956. The ama films became the equivalent of the US’s nudie cutie flicks that were filmed on nudist colonies. The ama films tried to compensate for their lack of plot possibilities by combining with other film genres, thus there were pearl diving dramas, action films, and even horror flicks! The ama films began to get phased out when it became more acceptable to have more sexual films in general, and are now just quaint historical artifacts (aside from some throwback films over the years that used the ama theme!)

Revenge of the Pearl Queen stars Michiko Maeda, who is often wearing clothes that get ripped off by the weather or by random jerks. Part of the suspense scenes are the wondering if she will fall out of her low-slung clothing, which she does just enough to keep audiences paying attention and paying to come back to the next several show times.
Revenge of the Pearl Queen
The island segments are loosely based on the true story of 19 Japanese men on the island of Anatahan after World War II, who did not believe the war was over. There was one woman on the island, and over time several of the men mysteriously disappeared or were found violently murdered as the woman switched her affections around. She escaped on an American ship in 1950, and finally the men left the island in 1951 after being sent a message from the Governor of Kanagawa Prefecture. More information is available here.

Screening as part of a double feature (with Yellow Line) at the Shintoho retrospective, I saw Revenge of the Pearl Queen at the YBCA with duriandave from SoftFilm, as Todd from FourDK had to take off. And that was the best decision Todd made in years! Let’s just say the Pearl Queen’s greatest revenge was how sleepy she made us!
Revenge of the Pearl Queen
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2 comments - What do you think?
Posted by Tars Tarkas - June 6, 2013 at 6:59 am

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Yellow Line

Yellow Line

aka 黄線地帯 イエローライン aka Osen Chitai
Yellow Line
1960
Written and directed by Teruo Ishii
Yellow Line
Teruo Ishii’s films have a unique quality is hard to describe without watching the films. There is a constant undercurrent of body obsession, with both body parts and with deformities or oddly shaped people. Many characters have scars, limps, or are just lit or made up to look more physically extreme than they are. Ishii’s films for Shintoho often feature underground prostitution rings, and are shot in realistic styles that border on documentarian at times (rumored to be to lessen influence from Shintoho’s boss Mitsugu Okura!) The Shintoho era films are less extreme than the ero guro work for Toei that would gain Ishii fame overseas, but you can see the roots beginning to take form. Some of Ishii’s more creative early work can be seen in the Super Giant films – or Starman as we know and love him in the States – (and also discussed in this Infernal Brains Podcast!)
Yellow Line
Yellow Line is a noirish tale of suspense about gangsters, prostitutes, kidnappings, sex slavery, reporters, and saving the girl. In Yellow Line, every character has a quirk or mannerism – Emi giggles before everything she says, the reporter Mayama is constantly snapping his fingers, the Hitman grins a sickly toothy sneer. This adds to their characterizations and are slipped in naturally enough they don’t become distracting. Characters fall into their stereotypical roles, but remain distinctive enough that you remember aspects about them more than their allotted place in society.

Yellow Line was screened as part of the Shintoho retrospective that stopped by the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and I had the pleasure of watching with both Todd from FourDK and duriandave from SoftFilm, making this a powerhouse of Bay Area obscure Asian cinema blogging.
Yellow Line
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - June 4, 2013 at 6:32 am

Categories: Bad, Movie Reviews   Tags: , , , , ,