entertainment

Japanese movie 'The Lowlife' tackles porn taboo

27 Comments
By Alastair Himmer

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© 2017 AFP

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27 Comments
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Porn is overrated!

or maybe I just watched too much of it.

J- porn is by far the most mind boggling ever.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"The movie is about people searching for their place in the world, for their identity,"

Dunno about how many women see their "identity" as a porn actress with a shelf life of maybe six months. Most do not use their real names, for starters.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There was no such thing as "porn" in Japan until Japan was westernized, and Western attitudes towards sex and sexuality creeped into Japan.  Look at "Pillow Books" (春画), which are explicit how-to guides from the Tokugawa era.  There are even chapters on gay sex.  Sex and its graphic depiction were normal in Japan before westernization.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

One good thing in Japan is that porn stars can leave the industry and become regular celebrities, like Ai Iijima (飯島愛).  Producers love it because they know all the fans will follow them to the regular TV/movie circuit.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

"In my heart maybe I didn't want to focus on the murkier side of the business," said the book's author Sakura. (...) I didn't want it to look like a work of fiction. The point was to show the regular side of life, rather than just the salacious part of the business," he added.

Thing is, the 'murkier/salacious' side of the porn industry IS what defines it.

Ayano (Kokone Sasaki) throws herself into a swimming pool in a suicide attempt after being confronted by her angry mother

This reminds me of "The Anabel Chong story" when Anabel visits her grandma back in Singapore. Awesome doco.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The action sticks largely to the human drama, never really sliding into darker territory.

"In my heart maybe I didn't want to focus on the murkier side of the business," said the book's author Sakura.

What a joke. With all the news these days it's amazing how these old guys can just sink their heads into the sand. If it's not "dark" then what is it? Nothing at all.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"Every year thousands of women make their debut in porn," added Sakura. 

Yeah, this maybe true, but Sakura failed to add that many (or most) of these women are forced or tricked into it.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

But porn actresses are also just normal women

Really? Normal women do this kind of stuff?

"Every year thousands of women make their debut in porn," added Sakura

Nothing to be proud of.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Looking forward to seeing the movie.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Many years ago (25?, I was a little kid), there was a rapidly rising Japanese baseball star in the US. He career came to an end when it was revealed that he had appeared in a gay porn film while he was a college student to make a little money. He wasn't even gay. Does anyone remember this guy?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sounds rather lame, the movie doesn't even appear to be about porn, just using the porn label to sell a few tickets.....

Maybe its not but that's my impression from this blurb...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Most do not use their real names, for starters

That is common even for regular celebrities.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm sorry, but "taboo" is not the word that comes to mind when I think of J-porn and what it has and doesn't. In fact, what most societies consider taboo is often extremely high-selling porn in Japan: mother-son porn is one of the highest grossing in the industry, followed closely by sister-brother porn, husband-sleeping-next-to-wife-having-sex porn, granny porn (not at all limited to Japan, but taken to new extremes in perversity), teacher having sex with whole class porn, sex with school children porn, bukkake (this word actually now a loan word from Japanese because it started here), gang rape porn, etc., and lest we forget you can't get arrested for possessing child-pornography here... only for distributing it (which is also only a recent punishable offense).

The struggle of women in the industry should be an interesting take, but again, suggesting porn or the industry are taboo is... well.. no.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Smith is well informed.

Might see this movie time/schedule permitting.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If he has ignored the "murkier" side of the porn business in Japan, then he is simply making a cheap T&A movie for a quick buck. That being said, the actress on the far right; god help me, she's sexy!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

and lest we forget you can't get arrested for possessing child-pornography here..

You can. Since 2014.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You can. Since 2014.

and lest we forget you can't get arrested for possessing child-pornography here... only for distributing it 

It's either one year detention

or

one million yen fine

and to top it off, cartoons and manga are excluded.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Japan could do with a lot less sexualizing of women in general.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

He wanted to make a movie whitewashing the nastiness of the porn industry.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

and to top it off, cartoons and manga are excluded

Why wouldn't they be? It's fiction and no child participates in production.

Same reason action movies with murders are allowed: it's fiction and no one is really getting killed.

Unless you also want to prohibit every movie with a murder or other crime from being exhibited in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One good thing in Japan is that porn stars can leave the industry and become regular celebrities, like Ai Iijima (飯島愛)

You are talking about someone who left the porn industry 25 years ago and who died in 2008.

How many others can you name? It's a pretty short list I guess, against the thousands who enter the industry each year.

More importantly we should consider the recent news that many girls were effectively coerced into making these films.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Many years ago (25?, I was a little kid), there was a rapidly rising Japanese baseball star in the US. He career came to an end when it was revealed that he had appeared in a gay porn film while he was a college student to make a little money. He wasn't even gay. Does anyone remember this guy?

Kazuhito Tadano-he still coaches in Japan, I believe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ayano (Kokone Sasaki) throws herself into a swimming pool in a suicide attempt after being confronted by her angry mother, but survives and in the movie's final scene resolves to continue her career.

Though I am probably not going to see this movie, why would you give away the end of the movie?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sounds like a promotional movie.

How does it tackle the taboo of having sex for money on film? I just don’t see how, at least by reading this article.

The thing about appearing in a porn movie is that not only can anyone see you, it’s permanently out there. If you want to, say, become a parent, there’s always the possibility that your kid or their friends or their friends parents or teachers etc will see. And once somebody sees it, they can’t unsee it. It’s permanent. Even tattoos can be lasered off these days. Porn? Nope.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"I don't think there was an urgent sense of wanting to destroy taboos when we set out to make the film. But hopefully it can go some way to helping break down the prejudices that still exist toward porn.

Porn is no more than legalised prostitution its gonna take a lot more than this to destroy the taboos

"Obviously not everyone is happy, like in most jobs," added the 24-year-old former bikini model.

"But not everyone is unhappy either. I feel that people too often want to draw the conclusion that all AV actresses are unhappy. Well, I'm not unhappy and I wanted to concentrate more on daily life, more on the light than the dark."

Of course she's happy Mana Sakura is probably earning more money doing porn than when she was a bikini model.

"I didn't want it to look like a work of fiction. The point was to show the regular side of life, rather than just the salacious part of the business," he added.

If the producer didn't want the movie to look like fiction why didn't he show the "salacious" side of the industry.

Ayano (Kokone Sasaki) throws herself into a swimming pool in a suicide attempt after being confronted by her angry mother,

Not surprised the mother was angry I knew someone who found out their highly educated daughter was working as a prostitute they were totally devastated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How many others can you name?

Off the top of my head Asami Jo and Nao Oikawa both acted as villains in the Super Sentai series.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Waiting for the movie,period!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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