The First Wave and the Reboot of Nikkatsu’s Roman Porno Films at Nippon Connection Film Festival 2017

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The Nippon Connection Film Festival takes place from May 23 to 28, 2017 and it will be held in Frankfurt am Main. The organisers released details of the 100+ short and feature length films that will be screened and there are many top titles that audiences can see to get a perfect snapshot of the myriad of stories and talents that the Japanese film industry is producing. There are a whole host of premieres and these will be shown in the presence of many directors and actors who will introduce and talk about their work to the audience. 

This post deals with NIPPON RETRO which is a special section of Nippon Connection which presents nine films by those the directors Noboru Tanaka and Tatsumi Kumashiro. On May 26, at 15:00., the film academic Jasper Sharp, author of Behind the Pink Curtain: The Complete History of Japanese Sex Cinema,  will give a lecture on “Nikkatsu Roman Porno and Japanese Erotic Cinema” and the director Akihiko Shiota will talk about some of the titles.

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A Woman Called Abe Sada 実録阿部定 (1975)

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A Woman Called Abe Sada                A Woman Called Abe Sada Film Poster

Japanese Title: 実録阿部定

Romaji: Jitsuroku Abe Sada

Release Date: February 08th, 1975

Running Time: 76 mins.

Director: Noboru Tanaka

Writer: Akio Ido (Screenplay),

Starring: Junko Miyashita, Hideaki Ezumi, Nagatoshi Sakamoto, Yoshi Kitsuda

A Woman Called Abe Sada is based on the infamous story of a real woman named Abe Sada¹ that took place in 1936. The case is so well-known it has been turned into film multiple times, the most famous being Nagisa Oshima’s In the Realm of the Senses (1976). A Woman Called Abe Sada was released the year before and was been largely overshadowed by Oshima’s title despite being voted one of the best ten films of 1975 by the high-brow movie institution Kinema Junpo. For me, this is the version I prefer and it comes down to Junko Miyashita’s beauty and emotive performance and Noboru Tanaka’s tight direction and Akio Ido’s intelligent script.

 “Whatever happens to us, I don’t care.”

A Woman Called Abe Sada Gaze into the Future(Miyashita)

Abe Sada is a geisha who has been locked in a passionate affair with and Kichi, the owner of a hotel she works in. They have spent a month travelling between machiai (teahouses) where they stay for a few days of sex and drink while geisha sing. Sada is deeply in love with Kichi and asks him, “Will you give them up? Hotel, wife and children”

Kichi replies, “I’ll go to hell if you want me to. I’ve never known a woman like you.”

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