films seen
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Alive and kicking
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Sexual Play

1969 / 71m - Japan
Sexual Play poster

Another '69 Wakamatsu, this time together with Adachi. Somehow it's fitting this turned d out to be one of his best and most productive years, seeing how so many of his films deal (rather explicitly) with sexual themes. This isn't one of his best films, but if you love New Wave Wakamatsu then you really can't go wrong with Sexual Play, as it has all of his trademark elements.

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A university girl is an adamant activist. One night she is raped by three men, but in a strange turn of events one of the men falls in love with her and confesses his feelings to her. The girl isn't too fazed by his story and in return, she asks him to become part of an experiment she has in mind, hoping to find the true meaning of radicalization.

Wakamatsu's fascination with rebellion and activism is on full display here. The switches between black-and-white and color cinematography are present, as is the jazzy score. It's just a little less polished than his more recognized work. These films also get a little repetitive, so don't watch them too closely together. Other than that, this is another wild Wakamatsu ride.

Red Army/PFLP: Declaration of World War

Sekigun-P.F.L.P: Sekai Sensô Sengen
1971 / 69m - Japan
Red Army/PFLP: Declaration of World War poster

A very political documentary. If you've seen a few of Wakamatsu's films, you know that the man was enthralled by activism and the revolutionaries of the 60s, it's no surprise then that he made several films and documentaries about them. This was more of a visual poem, but a pretty bad one.

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Wakamatsu cycles through images of the time and uses them as a background for endless monologues that circle the concepts of propaganda, activism, and everything related to the zeitgeist of that time. His subjects are the Palestinian freedom fighters, but they are almost an afterthought here.

Halfway through I was pretty much done with this film, so even though it only lasts 70 minutes, it was quite a hassle to get through. There's very little in the way of variation and if you don't care/don't agree with the ideas put forward, then this film can get really under your skin. Wakamatsu's worst.