Daria Gamliel for Cinetalk.net
There have been films, such as Chocolat (Lasse Hallström, 2000), and Tampopo (Juzo Itami, 1985), that use food, and eating to express sexuality and sensuality. Yoshida Kota has used a similar device to create a tense, slightly nutty pinku eiga, Sexual Drive.
Pink Cinema (aka pinku eiga) was initially a sexploitation genre that mixed sex and violence. Enter Yoshida, who has turned the genre completely on its head. The almost comedic erotic film plays the audience like it plays its protagonists. It builds a sexual tension without even a caress or a bare shoulder. There is no actual sex involved, but conversations between the characters imply and implant the idea of sex.
The oddball antihero, Kurita, is an instrument inserted into all of the three segments to guide each main character toward rectifying what’s missing in their lives. He ties food to sexual perversion. The grotesque nature of food stimulates sexual responses in his victims.
Kurita can be likened to the intruder in Visitor Q (Miike Takashi, 2001) which was also a pseudo-homage to Teorema (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1968). His only purpose is to link each protagonist to similar issues, and to teach them something about themselves that they may have buried. His lurid descriptions of food replicating human arousal, tastes, smells send his victims into an explosive epiphany.
An absurdist, cheeky and violently sexy exercise in implied erotica.
Fantasia Film Festival 2020 runs from August 5th to August 25th. 2020.
Sexual Drive – On Demand until Friday, August 27th, 11:59 PM (yes, even though the festival officially closes on August 25th)