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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai (review)

Here we have Japanese soft-core porn — and particularly lazy, obvious, and misogynistic soft-core porn, at that — feigning art-house pretensions… political art-house pretensions. Shoot a hooker in the head — like, say, Sachiko Hanai (Emi Kuroda) — and what do you get? Why, you get a genius hooker, one who can’t help but, ahem, service librarians who talk to her of Noam Chomsky. (I’m serious: this is what passes for a plot point in the movie.) Oh, and this comes after a bizarre and disturbing scene in which Sachiko pretty much rapes herself in the bullet hole in her head with a pencil, which pushes the bullet in deeper and somehow makes her a genius — my head wants to explode at the woman-hating hideousness of this. Later, the weirdly autonomous trigger finger of George W. Bush, which has been scurrying around on its own, violates Sachiko — she loves it, naturally — in what is, perhaps, meant to be some sort of political statement on how the American president is fucking the world… but then the world must be loving it, too, right? Oh, this is a revolting movie. The picture is quite terrible — apparently it’s nonanamporphic; these terms are starting to mean something to me now that I have a widescreen TV — and the subtitles are barely legible. And yes, I do realize, of course, that complaining about the picture is like saying, “Waiter, waiter, the food here is terrible! And the portions are too small!” Extras include more pornographic idiocy including a featurette on “pink films” (Japanese soft-core), the original short film that inspired this feature-length movie, and more. [buy at Amazon]

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MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb

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