Perspectives on Risque Cinema



Presented in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles

Frames of Mind, Frames of Body: German and Japanese Perspectives on Risqué Cinema

Monday, March 14 - Friday, March 18

photo by: Daniela Hartmann - Thank you for your music - The last curtain falls (2009)/ Adapted.

Opening Lecture


Monday, March 14th, 7:00PM
The Goethe-Institut Los Angeles

5750 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 100, Los Angeles CA 90036
(Located directly across from JFLA on Courtyard Pl.)


Presentation, discussion, and Q/A at the Goethe-Institut will be followed by a reception at the Japan Foundation.

Erotic cinema has existed in one form or another as long as the big screen itself, yet the differences in how eroticism is portrayed in film can vary greatly from country to country, and culture to culture. The contrast between Japanese and German erotic films offers intriguing insights into their country of origin’s collective sexual psyche and overall perspective on erotica.

As part of a panel discussion focusing on eroticism in film, Berlin-based Japanese writer Yoko Tawada, and German film journalist Carolin Weidner present individual lectures examining Germany and Japan’s sensual expressions through film and discuss the similarities and differences between each country’s notions of erotic cinema. This closer examination of risqué cinema offers a unique chance to explore, understand, and compare these two (often taboo) subgenres of film, and to see erotica through a different lens.


About the Lecturers


Yoko Tawada was born in Tokyo in 1960, and moved to Hamburg Germany when she was twenty-two, and then to Berlin in 2006. She writes in both Japanese and German, and has published about 40 books—stories, novels, poems, plays, essays—in both languages.  She has received numerous awards for her writing including the Akutagawa Prize, the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, the Tanizaki Prize, and the Goethe Medal.






WEIDNER125-200-92dpi.JPGCarolin Weidner, born in Bad Saarow, Germany in 1989, is an independent Author and Journalist working primarily in Film. Beginning with her course of studies in Film at the Freie Universität Berlin Weidner has lived and worked in Berlin since 2008. Shortly thereafter, she began writing as a freelance journalist for the following German News outlets;  Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, die tageszeitung, tip Berlin, ulturspiegel, Spiegel Online, as well as Rolling Stone.






This presentation is part of a week-long series hosted by the Goethe-Institut and the Japan Foundation that continues with the following screenings.  Please note that these events cover adult subject matter. Therefore, those who are under 18 years of age will not be admitted.


Eroticism in German Film

Tuesday, March 15th at 7:00PM

@ The Goethe-Institut


German film journalist Carolin Weidner presents a selection of a curated film excerpts that form a survey and historical overview of German erotic cinema.    


Screenings at the Japan Foundation Los Angeles

(5700 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90036)
Street parking is available near JFLA. Click here for Parking Info.

Reservation is not required

Wednesday, March 16th, 7:00PM
In the Realm of the Senses
Director: Nagisa Oshima, Japan, 1976,102 min.,digital. In Japanese with English subtitles.


Still censored in its own country, In the Realm of the Senses (Ai no corrida), by Japanese director Nagisa Oshima, remains one of the most controversial films of all time. A graphic portrayal of insatiable sexual desire, Oshima’s film, set in 1936 and based on a true incident, depicts a man and a woman (Tatsuya Fuji and Eiko Matsuda) consumed by a transcendent, destructive love while living in an era of ever escalating imperialism and governmental control. Less a work of pornography than of politics, In the Realm of the Senses is a brave, taboo-breaking milestone.

Thursday, March 17th, 7:00PM
Snakes and Earrings
Director: Yukio Ninagawa, Japan, 2008,123 min.,digital. In Japanese with English subtitles.


Rui (Yuriko Yoshitaka) is nineteen years old, beautiful, bored and unmotivated. When she meets Ama (Kengo Kora) in a bar, she finds herself mesmerized by his forked tongue and moves in with him and has her own tongue pierced. Determined to push her boundaries further, she asks Ama’s friend Shiba (ARATA) to design an exquisite tattoo for her back. But what Shiba demands as payment for the tattoo leads Rui into a brutal and explicit love triangle like no other. Then, after a violent encounter on the backstreets of Tokyo, Ama vanishes and Rui must face up to the reality of her life.

Friday, March 18th, 7:00PM
Underwater Love
Director: Shinji Imaoka, Japan/Germany, 2011, 86 min.,digital. In Japanese with English subtitles.


A musical Japanese-German co-production directed by Shinji Imaoka, known for his pink films, and shot by Christopher Doyle. Cannery worker Asuka (Sawa Masaki) is about to be married and leads a happy life, until the day she is reunited with a former classmate named Aoki (Yoshiro Umezawa) who drowned in their high school days, but has been reincarnated as a kappa (water sprite). Then Aoki is visited by a death god who tells him that Asuka is not long for this world. In order to alter her fate, they set off together for the village of the kappa.



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