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Gate of Flesh

(Nikutai no mon)
Japan 1964. Dir: Seijun Suzuki. 90 min. 35mm

Part social realist drama, part sadomasochistic trash opera, Gate of Flesh paints a dog-eat-dog portrait of postwar Tokyo. The film takes the point of view of a gang of tough prostitutes working out of a bombed-out building. When a lusty ex-soldier lurches into their midst, the group’s most sensitive member is tempted to break one of its most important rules: no falling in love. From the women’s bold, color-coded dresses to the unorthodox use of superimposition effects and theatrical lighting, this is Suzuki at his most astonishingly inventive. “Not infrequently shocking ... Visual stylization reaches new heights in Suzuki’s vehement and convulsive adaptation of Taijiro Tamura’s notorious novel” (Tony Rayns). Print courtesy The Japan Foundation.

 

REVIEWS

"A brilliant piece of faux-schlock filmmaking that creeps you out even as it gets your blood up."

Austin Chronicle | full review