The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Hisayasu Satô Day *

* (Halloween countdown post #8)


‘Hisayasu Satō is a Japanese exploitation film director. He has worked prolifically in the genre of pinku eiga films, which refers to Japanese films that prominently feature nudity or sexual content. His best-known works are the 1992 pink film The Bedroom and the 1996 V-Cinema splatter film Splatter: Naked Blood. He is known for his “sledgehammer” filmmaking style, and using his exploitation career to tackle serious subjects like obsession, alienation, perversion and voyeurism.

‘Satō is a very prolific director, having directed about two dozen films in 1988 and 1989. To date, he has directed more than fifty films dealing with eroticism, sadism, and horror among the lower classes of Japan. He is famous for his “guerilla shooting technique” in which his actors appear on location in public and incorporate unknowing bystanders into the film. One notorious example of this technique can be seen in Widow’s Perverted Hell (1991) in which the lead actress, nude and bound in S&M gear, appears in a busy downtown location and begs confused passers-by to help her masturbate. Allmovie comments, “Like Divine’s memorable strut through the streets of Baltimore in Pink Flamingos, this scene was shot guerrilla-style, with no planning, and some of the reactions from unsuspecting pedestrians are priceless. Intended as a dark meditation on the unhinging effects of grief, the mondo aspects of its climactic scene makes the rather lackluster Mibojin Hentai Jigoku worth seeing.”

‘Satō’s 1987 film Temptation of the Mask was important for several reasons. One of the first gay films produced by a major pink film director, the film also brought together three members of the shitenno for the first time. Takahisa Zeze worked as Satō’s assistant director for the film, and through him began hiring future-director Kazuhiro Sano as an actor in his films. Zeze later recalled, “I remember once there was a gay pink film, and Satō wanted to use Sano, so I was the go-between and negotiated with him to appear in it. That’s how we all started working together.”

‘Satō’s second gay-themed film was Muscle, also known as Mad Ballroom Gala (1988), a tribute to Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini. For this film, Satō was awarded the grand prize at the Berlin Gay and Lesbian Festival in 1993. From this and later films like Hunters’ Sense of Touch (1995), Satō has gained a reputation as one of the few directors who can competently alternate between gay and heterosexual-themed pink films.

‘Satō’s 1990 film, Horse and Woman and Dog, another film featuring Kazuhiro Sano, became a success due to its scandalous scenes involving bestiality between the three characters in the film’s title. Another controversial, but highly regarded film from Satō is Promiscuous Wife: Disgraceful Torture (1992), for which the director hired the Paris cannibal, Issei Sagawa (aka Kazumasa Sagawa) to appear in a cameo role.

‘Famed for the offensiveness of his films, Lolita: Vibrator Torture (1987), dealing with a homeless man who rapes and murders women, is often singled out as Satō’s most repulsive film. In his later works, Satō has collaborated with the female pink film writer, Kyoko Godai. While the violence in his films has sometimes been less extreme since this collaboration, the Weissers, in their Japanese Cinema Encyclopedia: The Sex Films call Godai and Satō’s work on Uniform Punishment: Square Peg in Round Hole! (1991) “Perhaps the most mean-spirited satire on film.”. The film deals with a religious cult who worships a maniacal young woman who spends her nights hunting the city for people to rape and kill with the help of a male slave. Allmovie judges the film a “perversely entertaining jet-black satire” and a “dark but highly watchable softcore effort.”

‘Yoshiyuki Hayashida, editor of P*G magazine—currently the leading journal on pink film—and founder of the Pink Grand Prix, became a fan of Satō’s work and wrote a script using many of Satō’s major themes. Satō filmed the script as Uniform Masturbation: Virgin’s Underpanties (1992). Though Satō’s style seems to have softened somewhat as the 1990s progressed, he was still capable of producing such works as Splatter: Naked Blood (1996), which, Allmovie warns, “contains one of the most appalling scenes in Japanese horror, with a young woman mutilating and eating her own body.”‘ — collaged





Hisayasu Satô @ IMDb
HS @ Letterboxd
HS @ Facebook
‘Pink Devil’ HISAYASU SATO talks about his irrepressible desires
The Hisayasu Sato thread



Interview Hisayasu Sato

Hisayasu Sato on “The Bedroom”


by Nakashima Yasushi


Q: In order to make a living, do pink film directors have to shoot as many films as possible in a short period?
A: Yes, but pink films aren’t always profitable and you sometimes end up bearing some of the loss. It’s a very hard industry. The budget is always small from the beggining, but when shooting starts it’s hard to keep it as low as the producer wants. Because you want to make a good film, so the spending rises.

Q: So if you keep costs low then your fee will automatically be higher?
A: Yes, I guess so.

Q: But I guess it’s difficult to work in that way… Is it the same for actors and actresses?
A: (Laughs) I don’t tend do ask what they do, but I’d guess most have a second job. For actresses when they’re young, they get offered many projects but as they get older, roles for them in pink films become less and less. Up to a certain age they might be able to make a living from it. But you can be young or old, a man or a woman, it’s hard to make a living out of it without some kind of a second job.

Q: Adult video is another thing they try, I guess?
A: Well, I suppose, but it depends on how the AV industry is doing.

Q: Is there much difference (between Pink and Adult Video) ?
A: I suppose the main difference would have to be the subject matter.

Q: Is working in pink films just like studying at film school, where you learn new technical skills?
A: (Laughs) At the time, it was very difficult to become a director, after having only three years of assistant director experience. I was 25 years old when I became a director, and it was almost impossible to have such an opportunity elsewhere. It’s different now as many young people do good work in the TV film industry, but that’s how it was for me at the time.

Q: I guess it’s difficult to get into film…
A: Yes, that’s right.

Q: What do you think the biggest differences are between Japan and the West in understanding your films?
A: Well, how can i put it? As regards to my own films, because i’ve been influenced by western culture since i was a child, you’d think my films would be rather westernized. But when I make a film, my origins are clearly projected on the film and it seems obvious. At the end of the day, I’m japanese, and I think that’s something unexplainable very deep in my soul. For example, the coolness and brutality you sometimes see in my films are things I don’t think about all the time but it’s naturally portrayed in my films. If I and a western director were both given the same screenplay, the two films that we’d both make would probably be very different. And that’s something very difficult to analyze and explain.

Q: …
A: Japan is turning towards individualism more and more thanks to western influences. It used to be as if you would open a door to a big room and your parents and grandparents would be there in the family environment, but now they’re in small private rooms and society has become rather twisted. Japanese people are known for liking to be in a group, such as when they go abroad. So it seems that even now, although we all have small private spaces we still like to feel that we belong to a group and experiencing human contact. That’s why you hear of young kids creating a fictional family or friends in their own fantasy world that they can control through their computer. I think it’s very unnatural behaviour.

Q: So you think it’s rather twisted when kids rely on fictional families?
A: I see a very strange world full of twisted and selfish emotions. Kids decide how to perceive reality on their own.

Q: How did you come to make “Survey Map of a Paradise Lost”?
A: I was asked to shoot a film that used an eavesdropper as a subject and I saw Francis Ford Coppola’s film… what was the title?

Q: “The Conversation”?
A: Yes, “The Conversation”. I like that film. At that time, there was a story on the news that a member of staff at NTT (Telecom) had been exposed as an eavesdropper and I thought that it wasn’t really suited to be an regular entertainment film, so I decided to make into a pink film by using the incident at NTT and I expanded the story into a complete fiction.

Q: In the film, you used NDT instead of NTT.
A: Yes, I changed the name.

Q: But it’s quite obvious, isn’t it?
A: (Laughs) Yes, it is!

Q: So you used the social conditions of the time as a motif.
A: That’s right. And I’d always been intrested in the subject of eavesdropping. I think there’s a kind of thrill in secretly listening in to someone else’s conversation using electronic waves. And if you take it a stage further, it’s like you’re invanding someone’s mind, almost like telepathy. It’s almost a realization that people have two faces. They might be wearing a smile on the outside but you can see they probably aren’t smiling on the inside. And you see the two faces that human beings have. That’s what i wanted to portray.

Q: Talking about the actors. How about Ms. Ito?
A: Yes, Kiyomi Ito…

Q: Kiyomi Ito seems to be the heroine of your films at that time.
A: Yes, she’s been the heroine since i shot my debut film. She’s actually the same age as me.

Q: Is she the best actress that you’ve used?
A: The best actress? I guess so. Well, she’s not the sexiest actress, and she’s very short. So, I didn’t like to use her because she is sexy, but because she has individuality and a strong personality. She’s very different to others from the mainstream. She’s good at bridging the gap between herself and the mainstream.

Q: So you like her expressive qualities?
A: Not only that, but also her way of thinking and personality. Technically, she isn’t the best actress or anything, but she adds something extra to what i wanted to portray. She enhances the atmosphere. She breaths life into a film as if she’s dancing. I’m not saying she actually dances, though (Laughs).

Q: She adds meaning to your vision?
A: Yes, that’s right. She understands what i want to portray very well. So I cast her as a leading character in many of my films.

Q: I couldn’t find much for Kiyomi Ito’s personal profile, but it is right that she started working on original video?
A: Video.. well I think she was doing many things. But originally she belonged to a theater company and worked in the costume department. And I believe she was doing that sort of video work as well as film work as part-time jobs in order to make a living. I guess she was about 22 years old when she started pink movies. I first met her at an interview when I was an assistant director.

Q: I see. You were a interviewer then?
A: Well, I had to do casting as well and that’s how I met her. I saw this dull quiet-looking girl walk into the cafe we were casting in. And she said “good-afternoon” in a very soft voice. We were looking for an actress for a comedy, so we thought she wasn’t suitable at all. But we used her for SM films a couple of times and that’s how we started working together. A director called Umezawa, who’s dead now, directed those. Anyway, she’s been in so many films. I guess she was in around 100 films a year. Now she owns a hostess club in Golden Town.

Q: So most of the actors have come from some kind of acting background?
A: Well, some of them are from theater and others are from Adult Video. We get different types of people all the time. We sometimes get actors from drama school. Actor’s backgrounds are getting broader and broader nowadays.

A: I just remembered about Rio Yamagawa. “Survey Map of a Paradise Lost” was her last film. She didn’t even turn up for the post-recording.

Q: Is that so?
A: Yes! (Laughs) Perhaps I shouldn’t have tell you this.

Q: So, it’s not her voice?
A: No, it’s Kyoko Hashimoto’s. Do you know her?

Q: Do you mean…?
A: Yes, Yes. I think she was the most popular pink actress at the time. We asked her to do the job on the day of post-recording. So it ended up being a better film.

Q: There’s a scene on the top of a building.
A: Wait a second. Do you mean the last scene?

Q: I think it was in the middle of the film…
A: Ah.. I think it was the scene I shot in New State Mega

Q: It’s when they’re talking about Yukiko Okada commiting suicide.
A: Yes, Yes! She’s talking about the lunchbox shop. Yes, I remember now.

Q: After that scene, she’s wearing red clothes, and the scene is shot with a kind of blue effect.
A: I got you. Yes I remember. That was the top of our production company’s building. It was called New State Mega. At the time, we used that location quite a lot.

Q: So, it’s Rio Yamagawa in the film, but it’s Kyoko Hashimoto’s voice?
A: That’s right. I spoke to Rio the day before and told her what time the post-recording session would be. But she didn’t showed up for recording. A couple of months later, I was reading a magazine and saw a face that was very familiar. She looked like Rio but her eyes were different. She’d had cosmetic surgery and went into Adult Video under a new name.

Q: So it was her re-debut?
A: That’s right. She had a very strong personality, but she was originally from Northern Japan. And she had a very strong accent. But Kyoko Hashimoto came in and voiced her character in the film. So everything turned out okay.

Q: So, when you shot “Survey Map of a Paradise Lost” did you complete it within four days?
A: Well, I’m not sure if we finished everything within four days. It might’ve taken five days to finish everything. We normally use twenty reels of film with one reel containing about 400 feet. So in total it’s around 80 minutes and the finished film should be an hour. And there’s unused film between takes that we have to cut. Anyway, the editing process takes around a day to complete. We edit it to a rough version and then we start to tweak it. After that we move onto post-recording. And as we’re doing that we’re still tweaking one or two bits, but we do that in one day too. We work in a studio to create any necessary sound effects such as the incidental noises that aren’t picked up during filming. Then we spend a day on dubbing. We call it MA. That’s how we complete a film. Because we used quite a lot of video shots it took a comparatively long time to edit the footage into a film. There were times when we couldn’t find the necessary footage and realized that we’d shot over the scene and deleted it. (Laughs) So we do sometimes have this kind of trouble. That’s what caused us to delay the completion of the film. Also when we get into a shoot, there’s a strange atmoshphere. I tend to become absorbed in the process and it’s hard to maintain a normal mentality in such an environment. I got very excited and the tension is very high. I forget the time and I don’t get tired even if it turns into a night shot. It doesn’t seem to matter. My mind is fully awake. Not only with “Survey Map”, being on location is always exciting, it’s just like being in a film itself. I got very emotional.

A: I think it was this film… Sorry my memory is not that good. Anyway in the film, Kiyomi Ito’s character has an itchy skin condition that she has to scratch. So she can’t have normal sex with her husband, and he has to apply a lot of lotion to her and chill her skin during intercourse. So that portrayed a kind of itchiness, which is accompained by pain. In Japan, people call sex scenes, “a wet place”. So we tend to think of wet skin as being very erotic. So when I shoot a sex scene, I tend to consciously use wetness. I like using a mucous membrane or imagine sex in amniotic fluid. For this film, I wanted to look at things from a different perspective and decided to use a slightly different visual expression using such scenes.

Q: I guess you needed a lot of effort to make that happen…
A: Yes, It’s like I said earlier about eavesdropping, trying to get into other people’s emotions of what they are thinking deep down. I wanted to portray communication, not just linguistic communication, but communication through human senses. But communication through the body inevitably distorts the messages. But their desire to share something with someone drives them mad. Then their sense of touch becomes dysfunctional. Then we realize how vulnerable the human senses are. Well, that was the kind of thing i was thinking when i made this movie. I think human beings are leading a more and more twisted existence. For example, you hear that because of poor construction standards, we’re actually unconsciously inhaling harmful substances such as asbestos. When talking about our culture, we’re becoming somewhat disabled. Because of all the problems that you hear about nowadays and looking at our current society, I can’t help think there is a link.

Q: So the electric shocks you used are a way of communicating?
A: Oh, well yes. They are. A lot of time in my films, the theme or subject I use is carried across from the other films. In my film, “Abnormal Ingyaku” (Re-Wind, 1988), I wanted to portray a reality that only exists in the film. And with “Survey Map” I explored the relationship between man and machine. I think i wanted to portray a human being replaced by some sort of eavesdropping device or a person that has become a kind of telephone receiver.

Q: A human as a machine.
A: Yes, just like a machine. The communication between the a receiver and a transmitter represents human communication.

Q: They’re human, but not totally.
A: Right.

Q: “In Survey Map”, Rio Yamagawa plays a girl called Midori. Do you think Midori was the victim, or was she the assailant?
A: Such a difficult question (Laughs).

Q: She was trying to trick Kihara but at the same time she was also being abused by him.
A: But human beings are victims and assailants at the same time. That’s how our existence works in everyday life. We use a lot of metaphor to portray reality. So I’m not interested in categorizing individuals as just victims or assailants.

Q: So she can be both?
A: Yes. And she flips from one to the other. Even more if she’s a teenager, because teenage years are a very sensitive period and teenagers can experience two very opposite worlds. Midori’s a sensitive girl, but she can’t yet fully understand what she really is. And she can’t controll her emotions. I’m interested in that kind of mentality. A personality that is totally fluid. She’s sensitive but at the same time possesses cruelty. As if she’s carrying a concealed knife.

Q: Is it more evident because she’s a girl?
A: When she’s thinking of death, she’s kind of in a fantasy world but ends up mixing this world with reality and committing a crime.

Q: Is “Survey Map” a film that portrays hatred towards women?
A: I think the film portrays respect towards women! (Laughs) I adore the fact that women can possess a kind of poison. The side they think is in their womb. It’s something very mysterious that, as man, I can’t understand. Only the actresses in the film can do this and add a delicacy and a sensivity so I have to entrust it to them.

A: We talked about the electric cable scene earlier. Anyway, that’s their way of feeling their nature as women and making it tangible. I’m not talking about the pain, it’s more of an exchange of love for them. It’s not abuse; it’s something mutual between men and women. Because she wants to understand a deeper side of her man, she uses her body to communicate. And the pain isn’t something important to her and she wants to tap into the emotions and minds of men. If I call it love, it might sound too much but she does that because she wants to penetrate into men’s emotions.

Q: So it’s not hatred.
A: No, it’s not.

Q: You were saying that it’s one way that love can be expressed. And you’re not wishing to humiliate women.
A: I used this kind of expression in the film but actually some of my films use a completly opposite portrayal. One of my films is about the lives of gay men and that film has the same theme but portrays things in an opposite way. But i can’t deny that is much easier and more effective to portray this theme using a female body.

Q: Out of all your films, how would you rank “Survey Map”?
A: It’s one of my favorites. The films i shot from 1988 to 1989 are probably my best films. I managed to shoot the films I wanted to in that period. I think i shot around five or six films that year. But I managed to shoot what i wanted for all the films.

Q: So, they are your greatest films.
A: (Laughs) Greatest films! You can say that!

Q: In any case, your best films
A: Yes, I suppose.

Q: Thinking about how society was at that time was there anything that consciously affected you?
A: Well, it was just before the crash of the bubble economy. Everyone seemed to be weak and idolizing money. But my life was very hard. So there was this massive gap between society in a bubble economy and myself trying to shoot pink films. And I asked myself: “Has something gonw wrong?”

Q: So the feelings you had led you to shoot these kind of films?
A: Yes, I suppose so.


16 of Hisayasu Sato’s 63 films

Wife Collector (1985)
‘Anyone not familiar with Hisayasu Sato’s work should be advised that his films are not for the timid or faint of heart. Wife Collector is no different as it explores the sexual perversions and taboos which many people are too frightened or timid to explore. The narrative follows a voyeuristic taxi driver who takes advantage of un-expecting woman who enter his cab. He films his victims, adding to his massive video cassette collection of his forced upon sexual conquests. The other half of the narrative follows a young woman, who after getting raped, finds that her normal sex life lacks excitement. Of course, these two character’s lives intersect, as their sexual perversions match-up.’ — Rowe Reviews

Watch the entirety here


Uniform Virgin: The Prey (1986)
‘A viciously sadistic tale of an orgy of rape and violence in a Japanese high school.’ — MUBI



Gimme Shelter (1986)
‘Director Hisayasu Sato has the rind cracking again in one of his better movies, a brutally satiric expose of a morbidly dysfunctional Japanese family, highlighting a gross and perverted edge that hews closely with the format of many of his sex-themed melodramas. However gloomy and grim, GIMME SHELTER actually succeeds as a comedy, albeit one filled with too many moral border crossings to count.’ — jfrentzen



Temptation of the Mask (1987)
‘Satō’s 1987 film Temptation of the Mask was important for several reasons. One of the first gay films produced by a major pink film director, the film also brought together three members of the shitenno for the first time. Takahisa Zeze worked as Satō’s assistant director for the film, and through him began hiring future-director Kazuhiro Sano as an actor in his films. Zeze later recalled, “I remember once there was a gay pink film, and Satō wanted to use Sano, so I was the go-between and negotiated with him to appear in it. That’s how we all started working together.”‘ — Wikipedia

Watch the entirety here


Rape Climax (1987)
‘Hisayasu Sato helmed this peculiar tale about a woman known as Locker Baby because she was left in a bus station locker as an infant. Locker Baby is raped by a man clad in black leather, traumatizing her still further, and driving her to sensory-deprivation therapy.’ — MUBI



Celluloid Nightmares (1988)
‘A gruesome snuff video is found in a sex booth. It shows a young woman who is tortured, killed, and dismembered by an unknown sadist. The deadly blade is hidden inside the camera itself. Hisayasu Sato’s regular Kiyomi Ito begins to investigate the videotape.’ — Letterboxd

the entirety


Survey Map Of A Paradise Lost (1988)
‘One of the infamous “Four Devils” of the Japanese pink movie scene, Hisayasu Sato delivers an original and thrilling whodunit that moves through the layers of reality. Reporter Nukada’s next big assignment is the secret world of Japanese phone sex clubs. He gets in touch with Midori, a part-time employee at the Banana Club, but is startled to hear she’s been implicated in the bloody death of a client with perverted tastes, Kihara. Sensing a bigger story, Nukada uncovers a link between Midori and the late Kihara’s wife and realizes that the situation is much more complex than he imagined. And in this world of blood-play and electro-sex, the biggest shock has yet to be announced…’ —

the entirety


Muscle (1989)
‘The film is centered around Ryuzaki, an editor of Muscle Magazine. On his latest assignment, Ryuzaki attends an experimental play, where he first notices Kitami. Infatuated by Kitami, the two begin a passionate relationship that starts off tender but soon enough Kitami’s more sadistic tendencies come to the surface. Sadomasochistic games become the norm, and during one particular passionate excursion involving knives, Ryuzaki cuts off Kitami’s arm. Jump forward a year we find Ryuzaki being released from jail, setting out on a journey to find Kitami, the man Ryuzaki has fallen deeply in love with. Hisayasu Sato’s Muscle is a film about the darker aspects of love, passion, and obsession, with Ryuzaki being a man who becomes infatuated with Kitami after experiencing such passionate pleasure. Shot with an oppressive sense of depth and color, Muscle feels almost like a nightmare, as Ryuzaki searches far and wide for Kitami, visiting every sex club and back alley possible.’ — Rowe Reviews

Watch the entirety here


The Gods Have a Nervous Breakdown (1990)
‘Lesbian-themed tale of a schoolgirl who entices her gullible female teacher by positing that they are predestined to dance together on the day the world ends.’ — MUBI



The Bedroom (1992)
‘A sordid sex club provides the setting for director Sato Hisayasu’s lurid tale of lust, murder, and drugs in underground Tokyo. As with many of the other hostesses at “The Bedroom,” Kyoko indulges in the powerful hallucinogenic “hallusion” as a means of taking herself out of her bleak surroundings while various men pay a hefty fee to have their way with her. When the horribly mutilated bodies turn up indicating that a maniac is on the loose, Kyoko suspects her lover Kei may be the man responsible for the unthinkable crimes. Little does Kyoko realize that the truth is far more disturbing than she could ever imagine.’ — rarefilmm

the entirety


Love – Zero = Infinity (1994)
‘Takeshi, an alienated young man spends his lonely days obsessively following total strangers. He is employed to observe the movements of a beautiful but disturbed doctor, whose behavior is causing concern. As Takeshi continues to track her, a bond begins to grow between them, a bond which can only end in tragedy…’ — Letterboxd



‎Rafureshia (1995)
Rafureshia only reaches about 63 minutes in length, but the hour-and-change run time is absolutely packed with entertaining depravity. This film opens with incest, closes with an on-the-road orgy, and everything in between manages to tingle the erogenous zones while simultaneously provoking cringes. That might be a rare feat when discussing another filmmaker, but we’re talking about a Hisayasu Sato movie, so that is pretty much par for the course. This one really has a little bit of everything: a metric ton of nudity, pixelated blow jobs, a plethora of incest, pleasurable (?) rape, amnesiac transvestites, close-up shots of tongue kissing lesbians, sword fights, psychic advice, Cinderella-style searches, a madam receiving cunnilingus while watching a woman attack a man dressed as a baby with a chainsaw…and that’s not even half the story!’ — Horror News



Splatter: Naked Blood (1996)
‘Hisayasu Sato’s 1996 film has been long revered and condemned as one of those disturbing, disgusting and not worthy of commentary films for an exceptionally long time. However, upon closer inspection of Splatter: Naked Blood it is clear to see that Sato explores male vulnerability and the perception that young men must follow in their father’s footsteps in order to make headway in the world and be seen as ‘the man’ of the family. This tradition is not only a concept in Japanese culture, but across the world there is a predetermined conception that young men in families should be the ones that ‘replace’ their father if the man is not present or is eradicated due to uncontrollable circumstances. But within this causes a problematic trope, one that leads these young men to self-sabotage and a disturbing incestous protection for their mothers or female siblings. Which in Splatter: Naked Blood becomes the unbreaking and devastation of Eiji, destroyed by his own shortcomings.’ — Zobo with a Shotgun

the entirety


Love & Loathing & Lulu & Ayano (2010)
‘Based on a book of interviews with porn film day players, this exuberant, anime-influenced movie about life on the bottom rungs of the adult film business focuses on a young girl who finds life in the porno business is a chance for her to escape her humdrum, everyday existence. Now, if she can keep her double identity safe from a veteran (and jealous) actress and a creepy stalker… Love and Loathing and Lulu and Ayano is a tweaked out, anime-esque trip down the porno rabbit hole where the worst thing you can do isn’t a gangbang video, it’s to be unprofessional.’ — filmlinc



Hana-Dama: Phantom (2016)
‘”HANA-­-DAMA” is a flower which blooms in a wildness, and the symbol of the mundane world. People explode their desire and lose their rationality when it blooms.’ — Cinando




The Eye’s Dream (2016)
‘Hisayasu Sato directs a paranoid film where the borders between fantasy and reality are very thin, and is filled with abnormal eroticism and sadism, that seems to draw much from George Battaille’s “Story of the Eye,” as, for example, regarding the use of eye bulbs during the sex scenes. Apart from that, the film is filled with lengthy, steamy, and occasionally abnormal sex scenes and gore, which is usually turned towards people’s eyes, not to mention phrases like “Raping you was so spectacular” and “Let me lick your eyeball.”’ — Asian Movie Pulse





p.s. Hey. ** Tea, Hi. Busy and weird, I get that. Oh, the guys I post at the end of the month are slaves looking for masters, not escorts. Escorts are in mid-month. So, yeah, the late month guys tend to be much harder core and they don’t charge to do it. I’m kind of monomaniacal too, but I guess I figured out a way to sort regulate it or mostly, ha ha. Yes, I slide between vegetarian and vegan. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 15 years old, so it’s sort of lifelong. It’s second nature. I’ve always had weirdly good health, and I assume that’s maybe one of the reasons. As you no doubt know, vegan pastries have become a thing, but actually delicious vegan pastries are much, much less of a thing unfortunately, as you probably know as well. Anything on your weekend’s agenda that you’re especially drooling about? ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Oh, yes, indeed. I meant to say two of his gay films. The others don’t seem to be viewable unless I missed something in my searching. I’m also a real fan of Joao Pedro Rodrigues, but, yeah, I thought ‘Will-o’-the-Wisp’ was very thin and kind of nothing. Curious to hear about the Bonello. ** Dominik, Hi!!! Yes, his face would have been a nice bonus. Oh, hm, my favorite … maybe ForNecroHeadfuckers for some reason, probably just because long hair is one of my Achilles Heels. Gisele has a ball-jointed doll, or she used to. Life size, and I think she made it herself. It was in one of her early theater pieces before I started working with her. Love definitely know the magic words there. I’m putty in his … hands. Today love has the simple task of making Nuit Blanche, which is happening tonight in Paris, fun for the first time in at least six years, and it looks from the program like it actually could be even without his assistance, so hopefully that’s not asking too much, G. ** _Black_Acrylic, Oh, Ben, that so sucks, I’m so sorry, my friend. But I’m very relieved that you’re back in Hub. What a fucking incompetent mess! Jesus! I hope you’re internally overflowing with all the liquids possible now. Football had better be very, very good to this weekend, that’s all I have to say. Love to you, pal. ** Bill, Hi. I do think there are probably masters who prefer narratively meaty slaves over blank slates. I don’t know Richard Burner at all. I’ll check that out. Thanks, man. Any weekend doings of note? ** Nick Toti, Hey, Nick! I’ve been meaning to write to you. Things have just gotten a little heavy-busy with the film organising, but, yeah, Zac and I want to talk with you about your proposal, by Zoom or when in LA, where we’ll be starting in the next couple of weeks. I’ll get in touch. Amazing publishing project! Wow! Let me psass it along in hopes that helps. Everyone, The fine, fine filmmaker and artist Nick Toti has started a project you should know about and which you could help if you’re able to and feel like it. Here he is to explain: ‘My wife and I have started a small press called DieDieBooks. We’ve now officially launched and announced our first five books. Each book is on a different horror movie, written by a different author. The approach to each book is unique and a reflection of its author’s idiosyncratic perspective, i.e., more personal than strictly academic, but still heavily researched. We’re raising money to get the books printed, and we plan to ship them out throughout the next year as they are finalized. If anyone is interested in contributing/pre-ordering copies, here is the link to the campaign.’ Please chip in if you can, everybody, thanks! ** Paul Curran, Ha ha, weird to be called Denny by a non-family member, but since it’s you, and you’re family in some odd, inexplicable way, gosh, and ‘great’ back to you, Pauly. 15, wow. That’s crazy. From everything you’ve shared, he does seem to be rockin’ the teen years. Thanks, Paul! An ace weekend to ya! ** h now j, Hi! I swear by optimism, and I’ve needed it very sorely in recent times, and, hey, there’s still a smile on my face. I think I’ll just miss you in LA. Zac and I are planning to be there starting in the next couple of weeks. The flight fees are murder right now, wow, but we need to go. I think I’ll be back in Paris before the 10th. If not, I’ll let you know. I hope the conference presentation is an exciting thing for you. The weather is all fall-like and blissful here right now, and maybe you’re similarly ensconced, I hope? ** Okay. This weekend you have the opportunity to explore the films of Hisayasu Satô, and it’s a treat, let me tell you. Have at that, and I’ll see you come Monday.


  1. Dominik


    Happy official first day of the Halloween season! I’m not familiar with Hisayasu Satō’s work, but it definitely seems to live up to the occasion. I’m intrigued.

    ForNecroHeadfuckers, yeah, I can see why. And the name is so lovely too, haha.

    A life-size BJD? It must be really creepy. And beautiful. I’m a little jealous.

    Ah, sweet! How was Nuit Blanche? I hope love made his presence known, just in case! Love eating an insect protein bar before he goes for a run every morning, Od.

  2. Tea

    More J-horror I haven’t heard of. You’re too cool for me, Dennis. But thank you for opening my eyes, these seem really interesting.

    Oh yeah, that explains it, haha. I was thinking that those listings were way more hardcore than the ones from two weeks ago. Well, my friend seemed mildly fascinated by the slaves anyway.

    I was basically raised vegetarian. My dad’s been pescetarian for about 25 years now. He was going to be a neurologist and they had him dissecting mouse brains and it tore him up. He ended up quitting both his degree and eating meat. It went one by one like dominoes until no one in our house ate meat anymore.

    I find veganism too damn expensive to keep up. Especially when you factor in gluten-free too. And I’ve made many vegan pastries, but none of them hold a candle to the regular stuff. Thankfully I can still make and eat French macarons since they use almond flour. Still, if a genie gave me three wishes, I’d wish to not be Celiac. The other two, I probably shouldn’t mention in public.

  3. Jack Skelley

    Dennis!! – Thanx for the Marnie Weber post this week. Her films AND music are really something! I alerted Marnie to the post’s existence. Thanx also for the ‘Crowd’ guest-list hook-up. I can’t wait. I must wait. Tomorrow (Sunday) I’m onstage at Stories yet again, appearing in ‘Autofiction’ Night. I am to read a new story, ‘Walt Disney’s Head.’ Say, here’s a sickass suggestion: Would you ever do a post on Ahegao?

  4. Ian

    Hey Dennis. Hope all is well with you. Life is peachy for me. I am back to work and spending my free time with my wife and our baby.
    Has anyone suggested the novel Cialis, Verdi, Gin, Jag to you? It was easily the most interesting book I’ve read in months. I don’t want to assume too much about yr likes and dislikes but I think it would be worth checking out.
    Today I will start the Superrationals, a book that was on one of yr previous five books posts
    I haven’t forgotten about the guest post I have for you, just waiting on some delays re my book.
    Take care,

  5. Kyler

    Hi Dennis – I just finished the Jeffrey Dohmer series on Netflix and thought it might be something you’re interested in, if you don’t know it already. Very well-done, non-judgmental portrait of this serial killer of gay guys. Controversial and in the news lately because of its tag and then removal of “LGBTQ.” Saw the last episode tonight and was very moved by it.

    • Kyler

      that should be spelled Dahmer. Hope you’re good, Dennis. 🙂

  6. h now j

    Fascinatingly scary presentation today, Dennis. Brrr. Shuddering as I scroll through it. Yes, please let me know if you will stay in LA after the 10th. It would be lovely to see you. I wish I could travel sooner, but I teach too many students this semester. And the flight fee and air bnb cost would be too much if I stay too long this time. But this is a first ever trip for me since January in 2020, so I look forward to it. (I hope I will have time to visit some museums and the Huntington Garden.) I’m sorry that I will miss The Crowd. Best of luck with the preparation!

    It’s quite beautiful here nowadays. I recently moved to a very small room in a red brick house in Cobble Hill (in Brooklyn)… it has a secret cottage feel in this busy city. From my room, I often watch tall old trees and squirrels running around them. Definitely nicer for the fall. Been writing more and more (gradually), too, thanks to this relaxing weather in this secretive environment. And I read better nowadays despite my overwhelming schedule. Glad you are enjoying the autumn in Paris.

    • h now j

      Ooops, the crowd is happening at BAM here, too! I thought you are going to CA for it. No? Sorry I’m really out of the loop lately. Quite busy, away from news, & focused on things in my life… as I told you before… Apologies for not knowing things correctly 🙁

    • h now j

      Apologies, *Crowd…

  7. Adrian Hall

    Been a while since I last commented. Always enjoy all the art shared here. Thank you very much. Just a little note… in this article about the Pinku director, the film Abunômaru: Ingyaku is falsely titled Celluloid Nightmares. Celluloid Nightmares is actually the English version title of Muzan E… Which is itself a great film. I think my favourite Pinku film is Naimi.

  8. Bill

    This Sato compendium is a fine way to spend the weekend, Dennis. Many thanks.

    I’ve only seen Muscle. Wish Sato’s other gay films are more easily available.

    Just saw this, one of the more interesting movies this year:

    Maybe you know the director Johannes Grenzfurthner of the Austrian art group monochrom, responsible for projects like Roboexotica (a convention for builders of robots that serve cocktails in wacky ways), and Arse Elektronika (on sex and technology).


  9. Russ Healy

    Hi, Dennis – I’ve been away for the last few weeks: international conference on transgender health care and a long time on Cape Cod in relative and welcome isolation. During my travels, I had the chance to read “I Wished” for a third, and much closer read. Thank you for writing this very personal book, Dennis. It must have taken a lot of work. Each time I read it I wince when you write about your three-year experience with therapy. I’ve been a therapist for 35 years. Even in my neophyte stage I knew to listen, especially with someone who was verbal and had something important for them to process. Sure, I’ll ask questions and interact if I think I have something helpful. I don’t just sit passively like the stereotype of the passive analyst. Therapy is a unique relationship between two people. I would never impose my own agenda based on an interpretation (e.g. George was symbolic of family of origin issues). It made sense to me that you wanted to discuss George as a person who wanted to tell the therapist about him. Period. Also, the third read helped me to understand your work more deeply (reading the interviews on your site help, too). Of course I want to understand artists I admire. People like you and R. Crumb transgress in your work, but not in your lives (unlike composer James Levine or Bill Cosby). You and Crumb aren’t into gaining power and using it to exploit others. To me, your transgressive narratives serve as social criticism and portray an understanding of marginal and alienated youth. I consider transgressive art to be a social construction in many cultures. It facilitates an exploration of the “shadow side” Jung wrote about, which helps us to develop a non-judgmental relationship with ourselves. In your writing, I see much of what I encounter as a therapist in some of the kids I see and have seen. From early on your George Miles Cycle gave me a useful perspective which allowed me to put the kid first and have faith in them, as opposed to wringing my hands, worrying about “oh no what bad thing will they do.” This perspective has always worked. That’s why I consider myself an anarcho-therapist. Additionally, the third read helped me to understand myself more. I don’t like it when the past bubbles up to the surface; I much prefer to be in the present moving towards the future. I still have dreams about painful relationships from my adolescence and 20’s – people I have not seen for 40 + years. Attachment is a dilemma because we must endure separation and mourn loss, and things like “closure” are a myth. For me, finding the right balance that allows attachment but preserves a relationship with my own self and my need for autonomy has been hard-won. But, I still grieve and hold personal secrets. Thanks for reading this. Good luck during your busy October! Hope it is productive! Oh, btw – love the Halloween posts. I read them and then do a deep dive online about the various artists and learn tons. Sato and the Pinku films are quite a revelation. If you can, see “Moonage Daydream” – the David Bowie tribute. It is filled with montages worthy of a DC halloween countdown post!

  10. Steve Erickson

    Sato could have written a script based on your slave days!

    Here’s my New York Film Festival overview for Gay City News:

    I hope my new songs can live up to the album title.

  11. _Black_Acrylic

    Hi Dennis, obvs not very much to report since Saturday, but here at the East Leeds Recovery Hub I am feeling a little better and my mood is good.

    You may be aware that our new UK PM is uniquely terrible and the £ is currently flatlining against the $. This means that I cannot afford the new Peter Sotos reader, or indeed any American books, records etc in the near future. So frustrating.

    It also means that my flat purchase will probably be even more delayed while these solicitors deal with the outpouring of mortgage customers panicking over their investments. But I will just have to stay cool and be in this for the long haul.

    Hope all is going well with your own projects, and money concerns are just a mere trifle.

  12. Jamie

    Hey Dennis. How are you and how was your weekend? Mine’s been ok, saw some not bad art yesterday and took Ari to a kids play centre today and didn’t want to kill myself (mostly), so I’d call it a success. Hope all’s been good with you.
    I’ve been nudged in the direction of Hisayasu Satô a few times of late but haven’t actually dived in yet. Think I’ll watch Splatter: Naked Blood at some point this week, even if only for that title.
    Great news that you’ve got your movie bank account and can now have money transferred within. That must be a nice feeling and add heavily to the vibe of Room Temperature becoming more solid.
    Seems I got a little down after finishing my novella draft. I tried to go straight into edits on a short story I’d written, but I kept bouncing off it and thinking it was shit, so I might go straight into the next draft of the novella, even though my plan was to give it some breathing space. Is that wise? I still have a lot of enthusiasm for the project.
    Hope your Monday is as soft and cuddly as required.
    Love from a raygun,

  13. Misanthrope

    Dennis! Omg, I got fucking slammed with one of our biggest documents (and some others) last week and didn’t have a minute to myself. On top of that, stuff with my mom (she had to get a biopsy when the mammogram showed nothing or maybe something or maybe they’re not sure; we’re awaiting results; doc and I think it’ll be nothing) and then just life maintenance stuff. Ugh. But I’m around.

    Yes, 10 years since I’ve been in Paris. If I’m allowed back in, I’m a try and get there next year.

    We’ve had rain since Friday because of the hurricane that’s moved up from Florida. Supposed to rain until Wednesday. Blurp.

    The movie was not great. My one friend who loves everything said it was great and that Olivia Wilde is a great director. Um…hahaha. Like, I never once thought to myself while watching it, “This is a really good movie,” or “This is a good movie.” Quite predictable. And a fucking plot hole that just ruins it when you think about it. Harry Styles was actually good in it. But I kept asking myself, “What’s the point of this?” Granted, Art doesn’t need a point, but I think this motherfucker did and it didn’t have one. Harry was cute, though. Eek.

    Ha! I shall tell DR that. He’ll be chuffed. He’s a fan, btw. He’s only read Try but he really liked it.

    Anyway, I’m in the office Monday and will be in interwebs silence for the day. We’re not allowed to look at anything at work. That’s fine. But guess what? Yes, still working on that huge document. I’ll give you some advice: never set up a trust or a nonprofit, hahaha. Omg, the rules and regulations and paperwork and hours just to keep all that together.

  14. Robert

    “He is famous for his “guerilla shooting technique” in which his actors appear on location in public and incorporate unknowing bystanders into the film. One notorious example of this technique can be seen in Widow’s Perverted Hell (1991) in which the lead actress, nude and bound in S&M gear, appears in a busy downtown location and begs confused passers-by to help her masturbate.”

    Hahahaha, good god can you imagine? You’re just walking to work in the morning and you’re staring at the concrete and suddenly you hear this woman begging you to help her masturbate. I was meeting with a guy on Friday, this near-perfect stereotype of a wifebeater Italian dude, and I was explaining the legal stuff to him when he suddenly starts asking if the guy I work for is a Jew lawya, What is he a Jew lawya up theah? I couldn’t tell if the dude was joking or not but it didn’t even register how sort of hilariously bizarre that was until after I left his house.

    “Lolita: Vibrator Torture”–I cracked up at all the movie titles, they sound like parodies you’d read in an Onion article or something. I hope I’m not being too irreverent here. I’m terrible with horror and gore and body torture stuff so I’ll definitely watch one of these movies someday to see if I can survive it. This one time when I was interning at a farm sanctuary over the summer I got all the other interns I lived with to watch Deliverance with me, without telling them what was in it. When the pig scene came on I looked around grinning like a little shit and everyone looked horrified and then my stomach drop, and I still feel embarrassed and guilty about the whole thing three years later.

    How have you been? Sorry I’ve been reading so sporadically, everything is sort of hectic with work and writing and reading and my as-of-late sloppy time management. That comment by Russ Healy is sort of interesting–I still need to read I Wished, I’ve been reading about it everywhere and I haven’t gotten my hands on anything of yours for too long now, and it seems more than a little phony to tell people you’re a huge Dennis Cooper fan when you haven’t read very far past the George Miles Cycle. But anyway, yeah therapy is sort of an interesting thing. I have a kind of kneejerk against it now since its cliches have gotten so popular, and I sort of think it poisoned my writing/thinking for a while. At least it felt like its vocabulary and worldview gave me a hard time hypostasizing things in the way it seems like you need to in order to get them across on paper. I enjoyed all the talking though. What do you think?

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