English subtitled screenings of "The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai" in Tokyo

Roland Domenig roland.domenig at univie.ac.at
Thu Nov 24 18:03:21 EST 2005

For all in or near Tokyo I'd like to call attention to the screening of Meike Mitsuru's 
THE GLAMOUROUS LIFE OF SACHIKO HANAI  at the Pole-Pole Higashi Nakano. 
The film will be shown with English subtitles! 
It is a very funny pink movie that one shouldn't miss.  

Roland Domenig
Institute of East Asian Studies
Vienna University

A MEIKE Mitsuru Film
A Japanese PINK Film with English Subtitle

Pole Pole Higashi-Nakano (03.3371.0088 http://www.mmjp.or.jp/pole2/)

Saturday, 26th November ~ Friday, 9th December
starting time: 9:00 pm
ticket price: ?1,000 (in advance)  ?1,200 (sold on the day)

Official selection:
Nippon Connection (Frankfurt, Germany)
PIA Film Festival (Tokyo, Japan)
Real Fantastic Film Festival (Seoul, South Korea)
Scanners: the New York Video Festival (New York city, USA)
Raindance Film Festival (London, UK)
Hawaii International Film Festival (Honolulu, USA)
Chicago International Film Festival (Chicago, USA)
Austin Film Festival (Austin, USA)
Denver International Film Festival (Denver, USA)

The U.S. and U.K. forces attacked Iraq in the name of justice on March 20th, 2003. However, peace hasn't come to Iraq yet. Many unsolved problems are still prevailing: terrorism, North Korea's kidnapping of Japanese nationals, sending the self-defense forces and more. “The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai” wasn't made to solve these problems concerning Japa, but was completed only by superficial understanding and mere chance. It is simply a comedy, a satirical sketch of our times.

Sachiko Hanai works at an "image club", specialized on playing the role of a “lusty private home tutor.” One day, she inadvertently stumbles into a coffee shop where some suspicious-looking dealings are taking place between a North Korean and a man from the Middle East. Suddenly a pistol is drawn, and Sachiko is shot square in the center of her forehead. Remarkably, Sachiko gets up and wanders out towards the street, not noticing that the clerk had put a strange metal canister into her bag.
The next day, after discovering the small hole in her forehead, she is intensely tempted to stick her eyeliner pencil into the opening. When she does so, it sets off a volley of flashing lights and strange images in her mind. Meanwhile, the North Korean pursues Sachiko in search of the canister. It contains a replica of the American President's middle finger, whose fingerprint is capable of unleashing a devastating nuclear apocalypse. Sachiko finds herself the subject of unprecedented international attention.

What makes "The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai" so unusual isn't the rape that turns into a seduction (a pink-movie trope), but the infusion of global politics amid all the panting. The plot hinges on a woman who, after a bullet becomes lodged in her brain, turns into a genius nymphomaniac implicated in a doomsday scenario featuring President Bush. I'll say no more, save that this film’s detour into politics works far better than similar turns in some of the other featured videos (in the New York Video Festival).
(New York Times)

If the catchphrase “ero-guro-nonsense” still bears meaning in Japanese cinema, it is in the field of pink eiga. The best of these qualities can be seen in "The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai", a hilarious comedy about a pure-hearted fool saving the world from even greater fools, made by a fool who speaks out the truth.
(Roland Domenig)

Along with the UK premier of Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, the only other film to completely sell out from the ten films in the Japanese selection at the 13th Raindance Film Festival in London this year was Meike Mitsuru’s The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai, and the audiences loved it. This hilarious sexy satirical romp about a call girl who inadvertently finds herself in possession of a replica of President Bush’s finger and pursued by North Korean spies was the surprise hit of the festival, and the Raindance audience couldn’t get enough. The film turned out to be one of the major talking points of the festival when one couple got so horny watching it, that they slipped out of the theatre into the corridor for a quickie
(Jasper Sharp)

I was delighted when I received the message that HANAI SACHIKO would receive English subtitles, and therefore we would be able to show it at Nippon Connection. When the night of the screening arrived, the theater was so crowded we could have sold the film out twice. Many people couldn't even enter the theater, and we had to calm the red-faced people, angry they couldn't get in because they had arrived too late for tickets. But I was hesitant about how to announce the film to the packed theater- should I explain to the German audience that this was a Pink Film, and "what a Pink Film is"? In the end, I decided not to "explain" the genre, because the film itself is unexplainable. It is a sparkling little marvel of madness, made to counter the craziness, not to be understood... and soon this was obvious to the baffled audience too. The laughter, shouting, and thunderous applause at the end must have meant that the audience understood something, however. And though they probably didn't feel they understood "what a Pink Film is", they didn't need to- all they needed was this shining little wonder.
(Alex Zahlten)

All Sachiko wants to do is find smart people, philosophize about Chomsky and the military industrial complex, and oh yeah, have lots of sex. This is, after all, from a prolific director of Japanese porn! Full of pink film tropes, a twisted plot and a deranged cameo from the Leader of the Free World himself, SACHIKO HANAI is a hilarious and bizarre political satire. If the notion of politiking furrows your brow, then watch it for the tons of sex. Everybody wins!
(Hawaii Film Festival)

A bizarre, satirical piece that may offend, "The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai" contains strong sexual content and is for mature audiences only.
(Austin Film Festival)

ITO Takeshi
HOTARU Yukijiro
MATSUE Tetsuaki

Director: MEIKE Mitsuru
Screenplay: NAKANO Takao
Music: KISHIOKA Taro
Director of Photography: ITO Hiroshi
Producer: KINUGAWA Nakahito, MORITA Kazuto, MASUKO Kyoichi
Executive Producer: ASAKURA Daisuke
Production Company: Kokuei Co. Ltd
Publicity: ARGO Pictures

Director’s profile
MEIKE Mitsuru was born in 1969, in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.
In 1992, He dropped out college and was to be an assistant director of Toshiki Sato. He made debut by straight- to-video “Kankin” (Confinement) in 1996. The next year, he made first Pink Film “A Nurse's Diary”. This film got the prize of new Pink Film director of the year He has been made eight Pink Film so far. He had been in New York for a year until last October because he had been granted the fellowship under the Japanese Government Overseas Study Program for Artists. In the forty-year history of Pink Film, he was the first to receive this grant.
 Selected Filmography
A Nurse's Diary (1997)
(Stop Using) Sex As A Weapon + (Just Like) Starting Over (1998)
Snow/Woman (2000)
Second-Hand Love (2000)
Buuyan (2002)
It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing (2002)
The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai (2003/2004)
Bitter Sweet (2004)

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