pl

Secret Hot Spring Resort: Starfish at Night

Maruhi yu no machi: Yoru no hitode
dir. Mamoru Watanabe
Japan 1970 / 73’
subtitles: Polish and English

This humorous film provides fascinating insight into Japan’s bygone pornographic underworld, following a band of itinerant smut-peddlers, consisting of Hisao, his wife and main model Saku, and their partner in crime Tori, as they arrive penniless at a hot spring resort town and attempt to make their money selling nude photos, staging live sex shows and screening home-made blue movies. Scripted pseudonymously by Atsushi Yamatoya, a moonlighting Nikkatsu scriptwriter who contributed to Seijun Suzuki’s classic pop-art gangster movie Branded to Kill (Koroshi no rakuin, 1967) and collaborated with Kôji Wakamatsu during the mid-1960s, the film plays like a hybrid between Yasujirô Ozu’s Floating Weeds (Ukigusa, 1959) and Shôhei Imamura’s The Pornographers (Erogotoshi-tachi yori: Jinruigaku nyûmon, 1966), with affectionate film-buff homage to Japan’s silent era, notably the early samurai films of Daisuke Itô.

Prepared by: Jasper Sharp

Mamoru Watanabe

Born 13 March 1931, Mamoru Watanabe was one of the pink genre’s first ‘name’ directors and one of its most prolific practitioners, with literally hundreds of titles credited to him following his debut with Hussy (Abazure) in 1965, including Slave Widow (Dorei mibôjin, 1967), Secret Picture! Tightly Bound Torture (Mitsu-sha! kinbaku gômon, 1979) and Apartment Wife Bondage (Danchi-zuma o shibari, 1980). He directed his most recent pink film, Parting Present (Omiyage) in 2008, at the age of 77.

Selected filmography:

1965 Abazure / Hussy

1967 Dorei mibôjin / Slave Widow

1969 Otoko goroshi gokuaku benten / Despicable Man-killing Benten

1970 Miasto sekretnych gorących źródeł: Nocna rozgwiazda / Maruhi yu no machi: Yoru no hitode / Secret Hot Spring Resort: Starfish at Night

1979 Shôjo nawa geshô / Virgin Rope Makeover

2008 Omiyage / Parting Present

Prepared by: Jasper Sharp

Cast & Crew

director Mamoru Watanabe
screenplay Atsushi Yamatoya (as Wataru Hino)
cinematography Seiji Ikeda
music Ikutaro Hayashi
cast Reiko Ôtsuki, Tomomi Sahara, Jun Yoshida, Hiroshi Nikaidô, Yûichi Minato
production Kantô Eihai
sales Stance Films
language Japanese
colouration colour & b&w