Sex Underground

The 12 films and videos in Sex Underground (94 min.) touch on romance and sex, including varieties you may wish you hadn't learned about. Takahiko Iimura's Ai (Love) (1962) sensitively depicts bodies in close-up, but a strange roar in the Yoko Ono sound track undercuts the sense of intimacy by implying a vast space. Yukie Saito's deeply disturbing Benighted but Not Begun (1994) stars the filmmaker and her boyfriend, who kicks her out of bed, shoves her out the door, forces her to walk nude through a filthy chicken hatchery, and worse. In this story of human obliteration, power and gender are one subject. Atami Blues (1962) is a puerile love story by Donald Richie, an American transplant to Japan who uses all the Western cliches, including editing keyed to characters' movements and manipulative close-ups of actors emoting.

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