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Koji Wakamatsu's "Ecstacy Of The Angels" runs for a mere eighty-nine minutes. After it ended it felt more like eight nine hours. Wakamatsu, known as the "Pink Godfather" (no, don't ask me why), was a pioneer of the pinku eiga genre. I had never heard the name Wakamatsu before. According to the blurb in the festival guide, "Ecstacy of The Angels" is a parable about a revolutionary organization torn apart by betrayal, its members descending into paranoia, sadism and sexual decadence. It sounded like a plot from an early Godard film, only from a Japanese perspective. This sounded interesting, I thought. It was about as interesting as having a tooth extracted. The opening sequence, in black and white, is set in a nightclub. A female singer screeches absurd lyrics, while at a nearby table three men and a woman sit in silence. Pretty soon though, I couldn't figure out which revolutionary faction was which, and by that time I was beyond caring. The actors don't just speak their lines, the bellow them at each other, as if they were all auditory challenged. In the frequent sex scenes (which are about as erotic as two storefront mannequins coupling), they go through the motions of sexual congress while mouthing absurd platitudes about fighting for the revolutionary cause. Frankly, Wakamatsu is definitely no match for Godard. Which reminds me, I need to visit my dentist for a check up. It'll be less painful all round.
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