A young man kills his bride on the day of his marriage and goes insane. He wakes up in an asylum with no memory, left in the hands of two mysterious doctors who relate his condition with his biological identity.
Two interwoven stories. The first is a biography of anarchist Sakae Osugi which follows his relationship with three women in the 1920s. The second centers around two 1960s' students researching Osugi's theories.
While dealing drugs on the side, Gonda operates the Genet, a gay bar in Tokyo where he has hired a stable of transvestites to service the customers. The madame or lead "girl" of the bar is Leda, an older, old fashioned geisha-styled transvestite with who Gonda lives and is in a relationship. Arguably, the most popular of the girls working at the bar now is Eddie, a younger, modern transvestite. Like Leda, Eddie lives openly as a woman. Eddie's troubled life includes her father having deserted the family when she was a child, and having had a difficult relationship with her mother following, she who mocked Eddie's ability to be the man the of the family. Gonda enters into a sexual relationship with Eddie, who he promises to make madame of the bar, replacing Leda in both facets of his life, with Eddie having threatened to quit otherwise. While Leda suspects what Gonda and Eddie are up to, Gonda tells Leda what she wants to hear, much as he tells Eddie what she wants to hear. As this ...Written by
This is a movie that was made in the late '60s, early '70s period of Japan when Japan influenced by the Hippie culture was experimenting with their own brand of Avant Garde culture that was sometimes called "Angura". This is shortened Japanese pronunciation for "Underground". As the word suggests, these were experimental non-mainstream production that explored much about free sex, and anti establishment view of the world.
Gay culture was almost never picked up in Japanese movie up to this point, and it was first public exposure to the literally underground culture of the society at that time. This movie was also the debut for Pita or Shinnosuke Ikehata as Eddie. He has become somewhat of an icon for gay culture in Japan, but this movie was actually the first time he appeared as gay in public, and prior to that, he was only known as a beautiful boy dancer. His father was a natori of Japanese dance school, and he is a trained dancer himself.
Producers of this movie auditioned over 100 candidates, but couldn't find the right talent. Novel writer Tsutomu Minakami told the producers about "this boy" who was a go go dancer at a club in Roppongi. When the producers went to the club, and met the then 16 year old Ikehata, they knew they had the right person. Ikehata had a nick name Pita from Peter Pan, as he was so beautiful, and it was difficult to tell if he was a boy or a girl.
Story is bit convoluted, Eddie, who is the top host at the club Junne has intimate relation with the club's owner Gonda (Yoshio Tsuchiya). When the madam of the club Leda discovers this, he goes into a jealous frenzy, and tries to hurt Eddie. Eddie gets an idea to kill Leda, but that also brought back his suppressed memory of killing his own mother. Leda makes an attempt on Eddie's beauty by trying to cut his face, but fails. Gonda dumps Leda, and Leda commits suicide. But Gonda finds out the real truth about the relation between himself and Eddie.
The production of this movie is above average for avant garde movies made during this period. There's humor, talent, interesting point of view, and a real story. This is one of must see movies to come out of Japan.
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