Period porno with a plot. A clever tale of palace intrigue concerning shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi (Teruo Yoshida) and his harem, as they vie for his love and devotion. Of course, not all of the women have pure intentions; and some of the ones that truly love him have shady pasts that they must hide. Couple this with our titular shogun's insecurities and paranoia, and you've got yourself a damn good flick. Can love truly conquer all?
Stylish Shintoho flick directed by Teruo Ishii with a strong French crime film influence. Starts off strong but gets sluggish as it progresses into a cat-and-mouse game, played out on the backstreets of Kobe, that connects the dots in a fairly predictable manner. However, it's quite well shot and acted, with a decidedly dark denouement.
If you are a fan of Ishii films you will notice some of his idiosyncrasies on display here in some of the set designs and…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Several points of interest that I noticed this time around:
-The girlfriend of Jimmy (Kippei Shiina) is named Nami -- a reference to the lead female in Takashi Ishii's Angel Guts series.
-It's implied by the limp of her right leg that the ex-wife of former cop Hizu (Jinpachi Nezu) is the same woman that gets shot in Bandai's club earlier in the film, although we never see her face in the scene.
-On a superficial level it's a film…
Takashi Ishii has such a great understanding of the erotics of filmmaking. Coming from a background in pink films, I guess it follows that he approaches his task with an acute understanding of how to connect with the audience on a sensual level. He's meticulous in the way that he has his actors and actresses interact with obsessively-detailed sets to create something greater that resonates with one's emotions. One can clearly see that he's a professional at this because he…