LOST PINKU FILMS | Offscreen
Sometimes, in the search for B to Z film material, we accidentally come across titles in the vast film archive of CINEMATEK that, after some investigation, turn out to be unique copies of long-lost films. We shouldn't expect major classics here, but rather exploitation films that, for one reason or another, have found their way to Belgium and/or have been released here. In this B-Z presentation, we feature two "Pinku" films, of which it is believed that no copies remain. "Pinku-eiga" is a form of Japanese genre cinema related to sexploitation, focused on displaying eroticism, desire, violence, and sexual taboos.
The film genre began with Satoru Kobayashi's immensely successful film Flesh Market (Niku No Ichiba) in 1962 and eventually evolved into the most productive film genre in Japan during the 1960s and 1970s, decades in which almost a third of all films produced in Japan were Pinku, including the Roman Porno and Pinky Violence films produced by major film studios like Nikkatsu and Toei.
The formula of pinku eiga was determined by the industry. The director had complete control over the film as long as certain requirements were met. This freedom allowed young directors to experiment with new ideas and techniques, resulting, in the best cases, in an unconventional blend of avant-garde elements, surrealism, colorful pop visuals, extreme violence, and S&M. The first film, Poisonous Caress, is a true discovery because very little information can be found about its content. Takeo Takagi was one of Kanto's studio directors who worked on the more serious Pinku films, with a bit more substance than merely showcasing sparsely dressed women.
The Love Robots is a film by one of the pioneers of the pinku-eiga genre, Koji Wakamatsu. A soft-core porn noir with science fiction elements, it excels in a minimalist approach, with almost no dialogues and the tight cinemascope frame and high-contrast black and white creating an eerie atmosphere.