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<eyebeam><blast> sex and violence as a political statement

sent by way of Yukiko Shikata

Sniffing around as a dog, I tried to catch the state of mind in the
Japanese underground or middle class ground where the Korean minority
living in Japane for decades  /without a right to get a citizenship/
will be a class question and not just a theoretical  pose for middle of
the road intellectuals.  Having my son in the kindergarten I met
brigades of okasan - a japanese word for  mother, as women with a child
or children are addressed as okasan; okasan are the women segregated
from  society, married with a ghost husband  who is leaving early in the
morning and coming late night. Japane is the  unbalanced image and
reality of hard-working salaryman and long suffering wives on one hand,
while on the other hand,  TV images and magazines and movies glamorize
constant doses of novelty and pleasure.  Salarymen  are ferociously
working at their companies while paying scant attention to their
families. Different tribes exist in Japan, as the salarymen or  the high
school girls, with short skirt and white  socks, selling their bodies to
older men  -  a bunch of  frentic  young bodies transformed through make
up, image or a pose into a forced tribe.

 I was still serching for an underground, critical in statements radical
in images when I went to see the retrospective of  films made from 1965
to 1972 by KOJI WAKAMATSU. The retrospective was announced as a real
japanese pop avant-garde production full of violence, sex, blood and
pornography, but it turned out that  Wakamtsu $BCT (J films, made in the
mid sixties first as 16mm  films and than as  35mm,  are  really an
excellent opportunity to see what the underground can bring to the
mainstream film production.  The almost splendid  black and white film
copy from 1968,  cut with flashes of  color images, constructs its
narration entirely  focusing on  faces blow ups. The face  is constantly
rejoiiced with sex, or the plesure is  the effect  of a terror, of the
body been beaten, frigthened. All the sequences in the film are filled
with blood and hard core sex,  from group sex to  masturbation, all
performed for the camera in front of the camera, as the camera is
supposed to be the primal  vouyeur, without any mediatization. When one
of the performer   is vomiting blood directly in the camera, as a break,
an interval in the sex intercourse we have to ask ourselves as this is
not the  most direct questioning of the litle by litle taken process of
desintegration,  in the sixties,  of   thousands of survived bodies, 
eradieted  by  the A-bomb in Japan.

Wakamatsu is politically obsessed with the   $BA  (J8 movements and with
the American ocupation of Japan. But soon we realised  that the critic
is all directed  against the Japanese society itself. If the  structure
of the Japanese society is all focused  in a process of mediatization of
formalised, nontransparent   structures of relationships, that are
always representing something  else for somebody else, than the non
mediated,  raw sexuality,  represented by Wakamatsu, is functioning as
a  clear political statement, and not as  pornography. Wakamatsu is
obsessed with removing the facades of the Japanese society, and the
pervasive, evasive direct fucking/ what else word  I could use?/ seems
to be  the only alternative to the expulsions, lays. This is not a
yourney toward mutual respect, but a dark exploration of  sex ual
obsessions and a harsh commentary of  Japanese  society.

In the 1968 anarchy was a serious matter indeed, especially in Europe,
and with Wakamatsu it was brought in Japan representational tactics. But
destruction also meant the destruction of people, what is today call
terrorism. And the terrorists attacks and assasinations were straight as
from the Red Brigades textbooks, also in Japan. The  Japanese student
/terroristic?/ actions are an   issue in Wakamatsu films stories. People
weave narratives of confidence by borrowing images and facades, but
unable to believe in anyone then themselves, they found themselves all
alone.   They form a hard core sexual alliance that is the center of the
film.  It is not question to create bonds of love and trust but to
performed flesh liasons  in front of the camera.  The alternative to
these fictitious relationships perhaps lies in literally fucking instead
of talking, fucking instead of screaming, funcking instead of crying.
Sex as a discourse, violence as statement, the body as space.

Although terrorism is shown by Wakamatsu as a survival strategy,  the
paradox today is that  killing  the king will not change anything. Power
today resides in the very reliance of goverment. The state that has
grown mighty by the information revolution and may be brought to its
knees only by information guerilla warfare.  The challenge to the state
posed by  the terroristic actions as showed by Wakamatsu  was minimal,
but  not so  is today the treat from the computer chip!


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