With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Monday, March 29, 2010

ACF 515: Tattoo kicks off Mad, Bad... film series at Japan Society this Wednesday

Image copyright Kadokawa Pictures,Inc.

Tattoo (a.k.a. The Spider Tattoo / Irezumi
Directed by Yasuzo Masumura
Starring Ayako Wakao
Japan, color, 1966, 86 min

Otsuya (Ayako Wakao), the daughter of a wealthy pawnbroker, is in love with Shinsuke (Akio Hasegawa), her father's apprentice. Since her father wants to arrange for her to marry someone of more appropriate social and financial standing, this gorgeous and headstrong young thing convinces her paramour to run off with her.

They seek refuge with a family friend who promises he'll interceed with her father on their behalf. In reality he takes money from the father, promising to locate Otsuya, and has carnal designs on her himself. When she rejects his advances, he arranges for Shinsuke to go off to a meeting with his parents, a meeting that hasn't really been arranged, and then sells Otsuya off as a courtesan. (Though the subtitles use the word geisha, she clearly is more of a prostitute.)

A tatto artist named Seikichi (Gaku Yamamoto) uses chloroform or its Japanese equivalent to incapacitate Otsuya, then uses the lovely skin of her back as a canvas for a large man-devouring spider tattoo. Turning into a true femme fatale, Otsuya seeks revenge by draining the life of those men who have taken advantage of her.

Based on a novel by Junichiro Tanizaki and with a screenplay written by Kaneto Shindo, director Masumura (Blind Best, etc.) has crafted a terrific revenge tale. It rises well above the run-of the mill works of the genre. It's right up there with the Japanese Lady Snowblood movies and with Hong Kong's Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan. While there's a sense of where it's generally heading, I found it engrossing to experience just where it goes and how it gets there. And Ms Wakao, who I don't recall seeing previously in any movies, is a fine actress as well as an incredible beauty.

ACF rating 4 out of 4 stars; an outstanding film that you really should see.

And as I've mentioned in previous posts, lucky New Yorkers will be doing just that on Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 at 7:30. That's when Tattoo kicks off Japan Society's series Mad, Bad.... & Dangerous to Know: Three Untamed Beauties. After the screening there will be a Dressed to Kill! party.

For info about the screening of Tattoo and the Dressed to Kill! after party, click here.

For info about the Mad, Bad.... & Dangerous to Know film series, click here.

Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street, betweeen 1st and 2nd Avenues, NY, NY.

The Mad, Bad.... & Dangerous to Know film series is made psosible throught the genreous support of The Globus Family.

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