DIRECTOR: RYU MURAKAMI
COUNTRY: JAPAN 1991
CINEMATOGRAPHY: TADASHI AOKI
MUSIC: RYUICHI SAKAMOTO
WRITTEN BY: RYU MURAKAMI
CAST: Miko Kikaido, Savoko Amano, Tenmei Kano, Kan Mikami, Masahiko Shimada, Yayoi Kusama
SUPER FEATURES: We'll leave this one out.
TOKYO DECADENCE is either an exploitation B movie, Japanese style, or an art film. I don't know that I can tell you
which. I went after it because it had music by Ryuchi Sakamoto, whose music I have appreciated for 20 years now. But
sadly, the music used has a sound that is too old, and even it does not sound like the Sakamoto that we have come to
appreciate. Did they find this music when he was learning to play jazz in high school?
If this is an art film, then it fails on the level of cohesiveness. If this is an exploitation film, then there is
plenty of nudity and unffortunate situations and shock value dialogue to threaten many sensors. And although it
appears that this film has been cut up pretty badly, it still has some very explicit material that is not at all
pleasant, specially to women. And the film fails the 'art' test, in that it can not provide a positive atmosphere
for the heroine to escape her sad predicament. Is this a social statement of an over populated country, or a fact?
A young girl is looking for a job in the city, and inevitably gets one. However, her job is one of satisfying the
libidos of an overeager higher echeleon, who seems to spend much of its spare time enjoying their sexual promiscuity.
Eventually, the young girl ends up in the same avenue as many of her friends. Drugs, and shattered dreams. If she
will ever be able to escape it is not clear, but the suggestion in the end is that she is trapped.
A film about the uglier side of the human spirit, and very vivid at that, does make a few statements here and there.
There are the prudish women that could never satisfy their physical needs, but then, there are also the very opposites
of this situation. The young girl is not easily satiated either, and resorts to impossible dreams to try and enjoy
While this is not a great film, it is easy to watch it and stay aside from it, and judge it, from our safe point of
view. If so, we are also prey to the situation that befalls the young girl. All we can do is condemn, not help save.
I don't know that the film does this.
Please email me with questions and/or comments
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