Night of the Felines
Mesunekotachi no yoru
In the 1970s and 1980s, Japan’s oldest studio Nikkatsu made a slate of soft-core films inspired by the growing popularity of pink pictures: Roman Porno films. Directors were instructed to shoot a low-budget film in a week that featured at least one sex scene every 10 minutes. Besides Kumashiro Tatsumi (subject of an IFFR retrospective in 1996), one of the directors to emerge from the studio's new direction was Tanaka Noboru. His raunchy sex comedy set in a bathhouse brothel uncovers the sexual eccentricities of everyday people.
Focusing on three female sex workers, the colourful, unpredictable look into the hidden underbelly of Japanese nightlife is playful but also unafraid to explore the darker sides of the business. The fleeting nature of relationships in such an environment and the consequences of toying with feelings are presented with a melancholy tinge.Also see Dawn of the Felines.