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ECSTACY OF THE ANGELS

Japan, 1969 (MIFF 2009, Eros + Massacre)

Director: Kôji Wakamatsu

ECSTACY OF THE ANGELS

On its release, a mass media campaign was waged against the release of Ecstasy of the Angels accusing the film of inflaming ‘random terrorism'.

Known as the ‘Pink Godfather'- referring to his pioneering efforts in the pinku eiga genre - Koji Wakamatsu anticipates the real-life violent disintegration of the Japanese extreme Left in 1972, which he also recalls in his recent project United Red Army (showing in this year's Neighbourhood Watch program).

A politico-anarchist fable, Ecstasy of the Angels details a revolutionary organisation torn apart by betrayal, as its members descend into paranoia, sadism and sexual decadence.

Despite its inglorious debut, Ecstasy of the Angels is now rightly acknowledged as one of the most provocative and outstanding films in Japanese cinema history.

"Pink films should be guerrilla movies… I quit pink movies because they started to become known and everyone started to praise them.” - filmmaker Koji Wakamatsu

D Kôji Wakamatsu P Kôji Wakamatsu, Kinshirô Kuzui S Izuru Deguchi WS Wakamatsu Production L Japanese w/English subtitles TD 35mm/1969

See also...

RED ARMY/PFLP: DECLARATION OF WAR

Filmmaker Wakamatsu's contact and training with the Red Army found him investigated by Japanese authorities and considered an undesirable alien in the US. ... Somewhere in the Lebanese mountains ... More »

UNITED RED ARMY

“From breathless history lesson to grueling chamber piece to tense action thriller.” - New York Times ... One of Japan's most controversial filmmakers, Koji Wakamatsu (Ecstasy of the Angels and ... More »

CATERPILLAR

“This masterpiece has the blunt force of a tank rolling over naked flesh.” - Hollywood Reporter ... When Lieutenant Kyuzo Kurokawa returns home from WWII a hero - minus his four limbs - he is ... More »

For My Crushed Right Eye

For My Crushed Right Eye is a split-screen short by Toshio Matsumoto, constructed while he was shooting his masterwork, Funeral Parade of Roses. Sharing footage and using cuts from the feature ... More »

EROS PLUS MASSACRE

“A climactic, delirious, wall-busting murder fantasy.” - Village Voice ... Yoshishige Yoshida's exigent Eros Plus Massacre centres on anarchist Sakae Osugi, who was killed in the devastating wake ... More »

HORRORS OF MALFORMED MEN

“Taps into the country's post-nuclear trauma so audaciously that people fled theaters in disgust upon its release.” - Midnight Eye ... Consistently banned on video and DVD since its 1969 release ... More »

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