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Archive for December 30th, 2011

A greedy Lord who has given what he thought was a worthless pot to his younger brother finds out that it has a map drawn on it which gives the location of a hidden treasure trove worth a million gold pieces. The younger brother Genzaburo and his wife who dislike the pot give it away to some junk collectors. A young boy is then given the pot which he uses for his pet goldfish. After the boy’s father is unfortunately killed, the lazy one armed one eyed samurai Tange Sazen takes him in along with the pot. Meanwhile Genzaburo finds out the worth of the pot and he begins a quest to get it back even if it takes 10 to 20 years though in reality it’s just an excuse as he just wants to spend time away from his wife and go gambling as she’s constantly moaning at him. Will the greedy Lord or his younger brother Genzaburo manage to get their grubby hands on the pot?

This is a fantastic comedy from the 1930’s (Japan’s first golden age of cinema) and sadly only 1 of 3 movies made by director Sadao Yamanaka that has survived intact over the years which is a shame. The story mostly takes place in Tange Sazen’s tavern which has an archery range inside. Even though the title of the movie might suggest that it revolves around Tange Sazen it doesn’t. It’s more about the complications by other characters in trying to retrieve the pot back in their possession. There’s plenty of laughs to be had in watching this lighthearted comedy but also a little bit of action when Tange Sazen squares up against the students of a dojo led by Genzaburo but even that degenerates into a farce. The characters in the movie are well developed and the storyline keeps you glued to the screen.

It’s well worth taking a look at this unique 1930’s Japanese comedy.

No trailer but a clip from the movie.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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A young 17 year old girl Poppo is raped on the rooftop of a 7 story apartment building by four boys and passes out during the ordeal. Whilst this is happening, a nerdy boy Tsukio is watching on expresionless but not intervening. The next morning as Poppo awakens on the rooftop, Tsukio is sitting down close by and they start to talk to each other which is interrupted when the 4 boys return and rape Poppo again and she asks them to kill her but they refuse before leaving. Tsukio and Poppo embark on a strange relationship as they talk about the troubles in their lives. This isn’t the first time for Poppo to be raped and Tsukio himself has gone through a traumatic ordeal at the hands of 4 people. The only difference is Tsukio killed all his attackers with a kitchen knife. Poppo repeatedly begs Tsukio to kill her but he refuses as he won’t kill without a sufficient reason. As day turns to night, the 4 rapists return again to the rooftop with their girlfriends and turn their attention to Poppo once more. Tsukio though is having none of it as he stabs all of them to death. Again Poppo asks how he can kill them and not her. Will Tsukio grant Poppo her wish or not?

This is a depressing tale of rape, revenge, teen angst and being alone. Given that this movie was shot in just 4 days in 1 location on a tight limited budget, what director Koji Wakamatsu has created is nothing short of amazing. The movie is mostly in black and white which is so beautiful but just occasionally there are bursts of color and blue sepia sequences inserted. It works really well when you see it. The subject matter of the movie isn’t the most joyous, in fact it’s really bleak and it doesn’t end on a happy note either which I’m not going to spoil for you. This movie isn’t sleazy as such and the rape scenes aren’t too graphic but the violence when it happens is brutal. The 2 main stars are fantastic in their roles and Mimi Kozakura as Poppo is naked for a lot of the movie’s 65 minute running time.

Go Go Second Time Virgin is an interesting pinku/art house movie with a fresh take on loneliness that I recommend.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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