Kinpeibai (1969), Violated Paradise (1963) DVD9

Kinpeibai / Kin Pei Bei / The Notorious Concubines

Director: Koji Wakamatsu
Cast: Tomoko Mayama, Shikokyu Takashima, Juzo Itami, Ruriko Asari, Riko Kurenai
Country: Japan
Japan, sometime during the 13th century: A restless wife grows tired of her rice cake-selling husband and begins pining after her well-to-do brother-in-law. When that altruistic gentleman gives her the brush off, she decides her husband has spent more than enough time on this earth and slips some poison into his wine bowl. Free to indulge in her long-repressed desires, the merry widow latches on to the first thing that glances her way-a man who just happens to be something of a local tyrant hell-bent on bilking the peasants out of their hard-earned pay. And before you can say "hot rice cakes," she's one of half a dozen concubines whiling away the hours in a fancy palace while her master grows fat on the toil of the poor.
Meanwhile, the gal's would-be lover and ex-brother-in-law has joined a ragtag band of rebels, risen to the rank of leader, and dedicated his life to putting and end to the tyrant's corruption. Day after day he sharpens his sword and his wits, informs the populace about the unfair grain prices, and dreams of taking down his sworn enemy. Once he learns that the murderess of his beloved brother is none other than the tyrant's newest concubine, his blood-soaked dreams take on an added tenor of fury and vengeance.

Violated Paradise / Diving Girls of Japan

Director: Marion Gering
Cast: Kazuko Mine, Paulette Girard
Country: Japan, Italy
Film begins with a National Geographic-style look at local traditions, seen through the eyes of pretty teenager Tamako, who lives in a remote settlement but decides to become a geisha in Tokyo. We start with the rural villages (where topless fishergirls harvest awabi) and then receive a primer in Shinto and Buddhism. Once Tamako arrives in the big city, the movie ventures into mondo territory, alternating between her delicate observations about life and the citizenry, and a condescending male narrator's snide asides that try to paint the Japanese as the most hedonistic race on the planet ("This is what happens when the moon is out and Tokyo entertains itself and the men have good expense accounts"). Along the way, we learn about the training and demands made upon those who practice the traditional geisha arts, girls who perform in cabarets, public baths, etc.

DVD9 | NTSC | 01:18:44 + 01:06:39 | 7.45 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: none

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