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Archive - 11th Five Flavours Film Festival

Roman Porno: Japanese Erotic Cinema

Roman Porno Reboot

The Japanese experimental erotic cinema which flourished in the 70s and 80s is back and ready to provoke again. The legendary Nikkatsu Studio is making their Roman Porno comeback with the best contemporary independent filmmakers on board.


When the television effectively pulled the Japanese audiences out of movie theaters in the 1970s, many film studios found themselves on the verge of bankruptcy. The only hope for them was to switch to a steamy content for adults only. The production of soft pornography bloomed - the so-called "pink films," the pinku eiga, ended up on the must-do lists of the majority of big film companies.

The Nikkatsu cult series, Roman Porno, was a special treat on the market. The label aimed to create a high quality erotic movies with strong artistic values but still following the rules of the genre: sex or nudity scenes every 10 minutes, cheap and fast production process and a fancy and catchy title. Roman Porno has become a training ground for young filmmakers, ready to experiment and break filmmaking boundaries. Obligatory sex scenes were often embellished with extraordinary visuals, subtle (or not so much) political content, disturbing visions and extravagant editing.

The golden times of softcore movies distributed in cinema theatres ended with VHS and online porn era, but as the traditional audience evaporated, a new wave of cinephile interest in the genre started to rise. Rare, kinky, excessive pinku was a perfect stock for new generations of explorers and festivalgoers, always on the lookout for bizarre and exciting content.

The 45th anniversary of the launch of Roman Porno series became a great opportunity for the renewal of the genre: in 2016 Nikkatsu invited five stars of independent cinema to reinvent soft-core for contemporary audience. The basic rules remained unchanged, but the studio decided to address the new series to a young public, taking into serious consideration the female viewers as well. The results are thrilling. Against the backdrop of "polite" Japanese mainstream cinema Roman Porno yet again proved to be an interesting way not only to excite, but also to show contemporary society in a unique way.

Last year Five Flavours hosted a Polish premiere of the first film of the series, "Antiporno" by Sion Sono. The program of the 11th edition of the festival will showcase two of the latest titles from the Roman Porno Reboot along with two classic films which were a direct inspiration for them

Jagoda Murczyńska

Dawn of the Felines
dir. Kazuya Shiraishi
Japan 2017, 84’
Lovers Are Wet
dir. Tatsumi Kumashiro
Japan 1973, 76’
Night of the Felines
dir. Noboru Tanaka
Japan 1972, 68’
Wet Woman in the Wind
dir. Akihiko Shiota
Japan 2016, 78’

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