Mark Schilling schill at gol.com
Sun Jun 4 22:09:25 EDT 2000

Stephen asked for opinions on LOVE/JUICE and Ikijigoku (Living Hell). I
intend to review both for next week's Japan Times. The former is a lesbian
romance, the latter a shocker that, in its Pia blurb, sounds as dire as the
1998 Kichiku Daienkai (Satanic Banquet), whose examination of lust and
slaughter among seventies student radicals made most of David Cronenberg
look like Teletubbies. 

Both were spawned by Tsunku Town, a late-night show hosted by red-hot music
producer Tsunku (he's the man who gave us Morning Musume). Two other
low-budget films -- GO-CON and Maguroshi no Shippo -- were also recently
released by his Tsunku Town Films production company. Both came and went
before I had a chance to see them (though I expect to spot the videos any
day now in Tsutaya).

 I find it interesting that the production of these films seems to be
following the pattern of Asayan, Urinari and other shows that scout, nuture
and launch pop groups into the market (Morning Musume being among the most
successful examples), while giving TV viewers a vicarious ride through the
whole process. A new twist to TV-film synergy?

Mark Schilling
schill at gol.com  

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