a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Kantouku Shikkaku

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Referencing Osamu Dazai’s famous novel Ningen Shikkaku (No Longer Human), Katsuyuki Hirano’s Kantouku Shikkaku (No Longer a Director) is an appropriate title for this odious piece of exploitation. Film direction is certainly not an appropriate term for what he does. Kantouku Shikkaku documents his relationship with AV diva, Yumika Hayashi. With her untimely death at 35 after a night of binge drinking, her copious output (over 500 films) and her forever 16 year-old look, she’s become a Marilyn Monroe for the AV set. Hirano, who was Yumika’s lover, made his name in the late 90’s documenting their intimacies (on extended bike trips no less). His style of documentary porn has its aficionados and apologists who take the work seriously, but Kantouku Shikkaku shows an unrepentant self-obsessed creep and enabler exploiting a dead woman – yet again. The tragedy of Yumika’s life was much better served in Tesuake Mastue’s Anneyong Yumika. Despite Hirano’s closeness to Yumika he seems to have learned nothing about Yumika, himself or even the basics of making a good film.

Originally published in EL Magazine, September, 2011

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

September 1, 2011 at 2:15 am

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