Secrets Behind the Wall
Introduction by Michael Raine, Assistant professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and Cinema and Media Studies
Considered one of Japan's leading directors of the 1960s, Wakamatsu Koji began his career at Nikkatsu studio in 1963 and made 20 exploitation films in the next two years, before opening his own studio to produce erotic “pink films.” Independently produced on very low budgets, the “Pink Godfather’s” films challenged Japanese censorship laws with a strange and unique blend of transgressive sexuality, extreme violence, satire and radical politics.
“Taking place in the cramped confines of a large, carbon-copied and numerically designated apartment complex, Secrets Behind the Wall focuses on the sense of imprisonment, impotency, and frustration of post-World War 2 Japanese. Indicative of the film’s combination of trashy skinflick and political indictment, these frustrations have as much to do with sex as the current sad stage of politics, peace, and the possibility for the future of the world. In fact, what Wakamatsu does here is intrinsically link sexuality with political livelihood, entwining the idealism, desires, and utopias of one with the other, likewise evoking the bitter disappointments and frantic desperation both can produce…. A strange, explosive mixture of genres and extremes, producing a kinky, funny, uncomfortable, and most of all unique kind of erotic (or should we say political?) film.” - Daniel Kasman, the auteurs.com
(Wakamatsu Koji, 1965, 75min, Japan, 35mm print courtesy of Blaq Out)