Love’s Whirlpool 愛の渦  Director: Daisuke Miura (2014)

Love’s Whirlpool  Love's Whirlpool Film Poster

愛の渦   「Ai no Uzu」

Release Date: March 01st, 2014

Duration: 123 mins.

Director: Daisuke Miura

Writer: Daisuke Miura (Script/Stage Play/Original Novel)

Starring: Mugi Kadowaki, Sosuke Ikematsu, Yoko Mitsuya, Hirofumi Arai, Kenichi Takito, Ryusuke Komakime, Tokio Emoto, Yu Nobue, Eriko Nakamura, Muck Akazawa, Tetsushi Tanaka, Yosuke Kubozuka,

Website   IMDB

“Birds do it, bees do it
Even educated fleas do it
Let’s do it, let’s fall in love”

From the song “Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall in Love

A group of people gather at a well-furnished apartment in Roppongi for sex. They have from midnight to 5AM. The rules are simple: use condoms, shower between partners, respect women’s requests, and leave quietly without exchanging information at the end. It is meant to be no-strings sex, but for some it becomes more meaningful as the emotions that drove them to the party are tapped…

This is the set-up to Daisuke Miura’s Love’s Whirlpool, an erotic drama from 2014. It is adapted from his own 2005 stage-play that raised eyebrows for its nudity but ultimately went on to win awards. The film itself became a something of a hit on the indie circuit and it is easy to see why as it bridges the gap between mainstream cinema and pink films as known actors engaging in explicit depictions of sex you might see in softcore. The hook for those of a less prurient nature is the way that psychological drama and social status emerges amongst a group of anonymous strangers simply seeking sex.

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Third Window Films Release Be My Baby on May 25th

At last year’s Terracotta Far East Film Festival I saw Be My Baby, a small independent film made by a workshop on a tiny budget and starring a bunch of unknown and rather inexperienced actors. The low-budget film was an acting tour-de-force and an example of smart directing making the most of minimal resources.

Be My Baby Party Image

Be My Baby is a satirical story about a group of young, rough, and broke guys and girls who follow gyaru culture at a house party from hell and the fallout from that experience which leads to developing relationships, dirty secrets, terribly embarrassing revelations, and the exposure of how emotionally fragile, lonely and desperate these characters are. It’s twisting, talky, and at times tiring keeping track of the bed-hopping and shifting allegiances but there’s a lot of substance and the film is a real expose of one part of Japanese youth culture struggling with part time jobs and no expectations. This is a great example of ‘workshop’ filmmaking which is popular in Japan and, let me state again, the acting is phenomenal. I met some of the cast before the film and seeing the transformation in clothes, physicality, and speech was remarkable. Here’s my review of Be My Baby恋の渦 (2013) which goes into more detail about what I felt watching the film.

Third Window Films are going to release the film at the end of next month. Here are the details:

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Be My Baby 恋の渦 (2013)

Be My Baby (2014) (UK Premiere)   Be My Baby Film Poster

Japanese Title: 恋の渦

Romaji: Koi no Uzu

Release Date: March 30th 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 138 mins

Director: Hitoshi Ōne

Writer: Daisuke Miura (Original work/Screenplay),

Starring: Kenta Niikura, Naoko Wakai, Chihiro Shibata, Yuumi Goto, Kenta Enya, Hiroki Ueda, Daisuke Sawamura, Aya Kunitake, Sadaharu Matsushita,

Seen at Terracotta Far East Film Festival 2014.

Audiences used to the stereotypes of Japan where everything is kawaii and the people are all formality, blushing confessions, shyness and kindness, all the desu and degozaimasu heard in keigo (honorific language) will be in for a shock as Be My Baby exposes an unpleasant underbelly of J-pop culture with a bruising blue-black comedy about a group of fashion-conscious sex obsessed characters with more interest in carnal pleasures than their futures. Be My Baby is a razor-sharp satire of “gyaru” culture which sticks the camera into the steamy and chaotic love lives of a group of sleazy, emotionally damaged and desperate characters who betray each other with hilarious and scary ease.

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