Sunday, October 12, 2008

Tokyo day 1 - Genji Nakamura

Day one of my current five-day trip to Tokyo is underway, and one of the interviews I wrote about in the previous post is in the can.

We spoke for a couple of hours this afternoon with director Genji Nakamura, a pink filmmaker from the 1970s and 80s, and best known overseas for a significant gay pink film he directed for hire, called Beautiful Mystery. Nakamura started as an independent filmmaker but eventually wound up working as a stringer for Nikkatsu, creating the bottom part of a triple bill to fill out the space around two Roman Porno releases. It turned out, he told us, that audiences and writers enjoyed these indie pink films more than the more expensive Roman Porno films they were created to support!

In the 80s, Nakamura founded Yu Pro, a production company best known for its extreme pink cinema filled with S&M imagery, like Captured for Sex and its sequel. Among Nakamura's discoveries were two directors who made the transition in recent years to mainstream cinema, and have become well-known in the field: Ryuichi Hiroki, director of Vibrator and many other films, and Rokuro Mochizuki, who made Onibi and the great A Yakuza in Love.

But in 1985, Nakamura was hired by maverick producer Kazuyoshi Okuyama to make Go for Broke (aka V Madonna: Daisenso), a bigger-budget action film based on an award-winning screenplay by a new writer (the late Hisashi Nozawa, who also wrote Takeshi Kitano's first film as a director, Violent Cop). The interview we did today will appear in some form on the future DVD of this film, to be released in 2009 by BCI Eclipse.

If you're not familiar with the film, don't feel bad - I hadn't heard of it before this assignment, either, but it's a hellaciously fun and slightly cheesy, very 80s action film that features motorcycles, lesbian sadomasochism, explosions galore, schoolkids vs bikers and some of the worst fashion seen on film outside a post-apocalyptic Italian sci-fi movie. Watch this space for news about this and other forthcoming titles.

More updates after tomorrow's interview...


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