Lovers Are Wet/Review

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< Lovers Are Wet
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Tatsumi Kumashiro has been referred as the most consistently succesful director in the history of japanese cinema, and while his filmography may have something to back this up I certainly wouldn’t go as far to call him one of the greatest. But it’s easy to see why he’s so highly appreciated. His films are based on thick screenplays (as opposed to the usual 4 page Nikkatsu script) and always feature skillful cinematography that puts most mainsteam productions into shame. The use of music, mostly folk songs, sometimes sang by the characters, is also more or less original. But I can’t help but to feel that most of his early 70’s films are just a little bit dry (I’ve loved some of his later work, though). If fact a lot of the time I feel he could have worked for a mainsteam studio without major compromises (the director himself went to state that he didn’t care much for the sex scenes, he worked with Nikkatsu because of the artistic freedom they provided).

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Lovers Are Wet is a typical example of an early 70’s Kumashiro film. Technically impressive, heavy on characterization and blessed with a title that has little to do with the content (that was the price Kumashiro had to pay for his freedom). It’s interesting and fun to watch but fails to make a lasting impression... except for the critics who hail it as masterwork. The middle part is a bit less good than the rest of the film as that’s where Kumashiro unloads the unnecessary sex scenes that are in the contract. But as a whole the film features a large number of impressive scenes, such is the ending. The storyline is about a young man who’s on the run from the yakuza and settles down in a small seaside town. He starts working at a local movie theatre playing pink films. Nikkatsu fans can spot numerous Meisaku Roman posters on the backgrounds.

Reviewed by HungFist

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