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It was reported that director Kôji Wakamatsu has passed away
this morning in Tokyo. The 76-year-old
director was injured when he was struck by a taxi while crossing a busy Tokyo
intersection. He never recovered from the injuries.
Koji, who directed GO, GO SECOND TIME VIRGIN, was one of the
most important directors of the Pinky film (pink eiga), a genre known for its
copious amounts of horror, sex and violence often folding in elements of rape
Heavily influenced by the films of Jean-Luc Godard,
Wakamatsu brought the French New Wave art movement to Japan. His film ECSTASY OF ANGELS, the
aforementioned GO, GO SECOND TIME VIRGIN and VIOLATED ANGELS are the best
examples of his bold style and ability to pull beauty from darkness. Though a
political awareness and motive is present in all of Wakamatsu’s work, SEX JACK
(1970) is best known for his use of sex and rape as metaphor. He also produced
the controversial and provocative sex/art film IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES,
directed by Nagisa Oshima.
Without question, Koji Wakamatsu’s works will be studied for
generations to come in the same vein as Godard and fellow countryman
Kurosawa. Koji Wakamatsu was an
influential talent who’ll be missed by the entire film community. Our
condolences go out to his family and friends.
For superb examples of Wakamatu’s work please see ECSTACY OF
THE ANGEL and IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES, both available through The Criterion
Collection, as well as GO, GO SECOND TIME VIRGIN on DVD from Image
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