The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Shozin Fukui Day


‘Even for hardcore fans of Japanese underground movies, the name Shozin Fukui might not immediately ring a bell. This may have something to do with the fact that following the 1996 release of his claustrophobic, ultra-violent, high-speed brain-driller Rubber’s Lover, Fukui dropped out of sight for more than 10 years.

‘But now he is back with a vengeance – not only have his old films been released on DVD in both the U.S. (through Unearthed Films) and Japan, but there’s also his new all-out psycho-attack, The Hiding.

‘Originally a native of Hyogo Prefecture in Kansai, Fukui moved to Tokyo in the 1980s and quickly got involved with the punk underground movie scene there. In 1988, Fukui worked on Shinya Tsukamoto’s Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989), which quickly became the quintessential Japanese cyberpunk film – the melding of man and machine or rather, man and scrap iron, a profoundly body-oriented sci-fi nightmare. Imagine, shaving one morning and finding a piece of wire sticking out from your cheek… and that’s just the start.

‘But unlike Tsukamoto, who kept on exploring the body in his following films, Fukui went for the even more dangerous matter – the grey matter. Already parallel to his involvement in Tetsuo, he shot a fairly disturbing 33-minute piece called Caterpillar (1988). But it was his debut feature Pinocchio √ 964 (1991) that made Fukui’s name. The plot is easily recounted: Pinocchio was once a normal young man, until he got kidnapped by an evil corporation, brainwashed and transformed into a sex-slave cyborg for sale. He is picked up by Himiko, a waif-like girl living in an abandoned warehouse. They fall in love, Pinocchio regains his memory (well, sort of) and begins enacting his terrible revenge on the evil company employees that made him what he is.

‘It wasn’t the plot that made the film a cult hit – it was the sheer madness playing out on screen. Himiko is crazy as hell, but wait til you see Pinocchio on his mad rampage through the streets of central Shinjuku and out into the wastelands, all the while chained to a steel pyramid, his mind tortured and driven in his quest for bloody vengeance.

‘If Pinocchio was already a nightmare full of mind-blowing scenes, Fukui’s follow-up Rubber’s Lover (1996) added the element of claustrophobia. A cruel experiment by mad scientists goes terribly wrong – and all the terror plays out in their tiny lab. Heads explode… but these are just one variant of minds acting out while in a mental pressure-cooker.

‘After that, even Fukui needed a decade of rest. But now he is back with The Hiding, his first digital work. The Hiding is 40 minutes long and tells of a hikikomori (social recluse) girl who is afraid of everything outside her door. But eventually, she has to get the garbage out. This is when strange and violent things begin to happen… or is it all just a fantasy of this lonely, scared girl?

Disturbing, though not as intense as Fukui’s earlier works, The Hiding is a transitional film in Fukui’s career, mainly serving to announce his return from a long absence. He already has his next film in the can, entitled S-94. Dealing with entirely different subject matter, S-94 might take Fukui to fresh and even scarier extremes. Besides his work in cinema, Fukui also runs a tiny bar named Kemuri in Tokyo’s Higashi Nakano neighborhood.’ — Johannes Schönherr





Shozin Fukui @ IMDb
Crypt of Curiosities: Shozin Fukui’s Cyberpunk Films
Shozin Fukui @ MUBI
Shozin Fukui @ Mondo Digital
Shozin Fukui @ Honekoubou
Shozin Fukui @ Revolvy
Shozin Fukui, le pape trash du cyber-punk est de retour
The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre: Shozin Fukui
964 Pinocchio @ L’idiot électrique
Post-Human Nightmares
The Horror Geek Speaks: Rubber’s Lover



The Early Films of Shozin Fukui – VHS!

Interview with Shozin Fukui



from MidnightEye

First of all, I would like to talk a bit about the Japan of the 1980s and early 90s. Because I think it was kind of a special situation. Starting with Sogo Ishii’s Crazy Thunder Road [1980], then going into the punk rock movies and eventually arriving at cyberpunk. There was a very close relation between musicians and filmmakers.

This is because the directors liked music a lot. Filmmakers asked their favorite musicians to work with them.

Many directors were musicians themselves. Like Shigeru Izumiya for example… [Note: Former 1970s folk / protest singer Izumiya directed the bizarre early cyberpunk entry Death Powder in 1986, strongly anticipating the direction the genre would later take with films like Tetsuo and Pinocchio √ 964.]

Yes, often musicians initiated movies. They made the soundtrack and acted in their own movies. A little later, musicians started to make their own movies. Many directors had their own bands. They were all influenced by Sogo Ishii, I think.

You worked with Sogo Ishii.

At first, I worked with Shinya Tsukamoto as assistant director on Tetsuo. But you couldn’t say I was really an assistant director. I just helped out a little. Later I worked with Sogo Ishii as a real assistant director. The first Ishii movie I worked on was Master of Shiatsu, from 1989. That was a short film.

How did you get started making your own movies?

I liked movies and I also played in a band. This led me into working for a company that shot music promotion videos for noise bands at live shows. At the same time, I was already thinking about making my own movies. After being Ishii’s assistant director, I just wanted to direct a movie by myself.

The oldest movie you made that’s mentioned on your website is Metal Days (1986).

I shot that while I was a student. I made this movie with the members of my band and their friends.

Then came Gerorist, which is very much a punk film.

I shot that with the same people I made Metal Days with.

Who was the girl in Gerorist?

Her name is Chiemi Endo. She was an actress from a theater group. I knew her and I asked her to act in my film. After that film she quit her acting career.

It must have been very hard for her to attack all those pedestrians. Where was it actually shot?

It was in Shibuya and in the subway. At the time we made the film, street performances started to become a fashion in Japan. People just expressed things on the street. That’s why it was easy to shoot that film.

But I can imagine that a lot of the pedestrians became angry at her. They definitely look like it.

No, no. Quite the opposite. I just brought the pedestrians into my movie. We suddenly approached them, we certainly surprised them. But they were quite happy to be in the movie. They thought it was some sort of performance art.

After Gerorist you made Caterpillar…


It has kind of two parts…

How so?

Well, in the first half, it’s those lonely children running around an empty Tokyo, then the Caterpillar demolition excavator tears down a building while a punk song plays and then the action with the girl with the golden mask and the cyberpunk kids show up. So, the scene with the Caterpillar machine separates the part featuring the lost kids from the one where things get really crazy.

Yes, you could see it that way.

I especially like the first part. It’s very strange… especially considering the sound effects.

I made all those sound effects myself. There was just a feeling of making music going into that part. It was purely an experiment.

Then, in the “second part” there is the girl with the golden mask who has that very strange and shrill laugh…

That laugh is my laugh which we put through a sound effects machine. We did the same thing with all the sounds in the movie.

Caterpillar feels very much like a kind of mental picture.

I would say that exploring extreme mental conditions is my subject matter. It’s very difficult to explain with words. The mental part is beyond the physical part. Sometimes, the mental is stronger. That’s what I’m curious about.

You can already see that with the girl acting out in Gerorist and later it gets more pronounced in Pinocchio √ 964 and Rubber’s Lover. So basically, cyberpunk was about the body transforming into technology but in your case it’s the head which transforms to another state.

The moment when the mind overwhelms the body is the most interesting to me. This moment is kind of psychic. My goal is to try to describe this moment. In this moment a new power erupts. This power I call psychic. For this moment to happen, requires a strong trigger, which could come from the body and mind being subjected to forceful technology. When the psychic power takes over it breaks through the physical limits. To describe that moment and process I use the images of puking.

Himiko got Pinocchio to reach the ultimate of that moment of mental breakthrough at the end of Pinocchio √ 964.

Yes, exactly.

You wrote the script for Pinocchio √ 964?

Yes, I did.

I like Himiko a lot.

At the beginning, that actress was a staff member. For a long time, I did auditions to find an actress. Finally, just before we started shooting, we decided to use her. I trained her for one week and then we started to shoot.

She’s credited as Onn-chan. Was that her nickname?

We made that name up for the movie. After this movie, she never acted in another one again.

What’s the name of the Pinocchio actor?

Hage Suzuki. After finishing the movie, he went back to his hometown and got married. His parents were farmers. He took over the farm.

The actors couldn’t continue on after going through the intensity of the film?

Most actors quit all their involvement in film after Pinocchio √ 964. Basically, they were the members of my band, not actors. The band simply went through a period of filmmaking. For them, making music and performing in the film were basically the same thing. But after Pinocchio √ 964, they felt that they had completed their performance.

Pinocchio √ 964 looks very much like a movie shot guerrilla-style, especially Pinocchio’s run through the streets of Shinjuku.

It was half guerrilla, half with permits. These days, you can’t do real guerrilla shooting anymore. It’s very strict now.

Only Adult Video does it nowadays.


You had to get permits for the subway, I suppose…

Yes, from the subway company, from the police, and so on.

But for the streets you didn’t need any?

Even for shooting in the street I got permits.

You got a permit for filming Pinocchio’s run through Shinjuku?

That was guerrilla style. It’s more interesting to use guerrilla tactics when I get pedestrians into my movies. For those running scenes guerrilla is best. But for slowly walking, you need a permit, otherwise the police will show up quickly.

Any interesting stories on the guerrilla shooting?

The people in the stores in front of which we were shooting liked it and were interested in us. They invited us sometimes to eat with them. Because it was very rare that somebody would make movies in such an extreme way. They liked that. They may have considered it a kind of performance, I think.

The final scene of Pinocchio and Himiko’s transformation reminds me a lot of the alien transformation scene at the end of Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste (1987).

I like Peter Jackson’s movie a lot. I saw Bad Taste after I made Pinocchio √ 964. I was very surprised but also very pleased when I watched it and I thought that there is someone in a totally different place doing the same things like I do.

Speaking about foreign films, were there any foreign films that influenced you in your work?

Blade Runner was a very important film for me. It was not very successful on its first run in Japan, my local movie theater showed it just for a week. I sat through all the shows during that one week, all afternoon and evening. Mostly, I was the only one sitting in the theater. I also saw Zombie a lot of times…

Which Zombie?

[Fukui looks through his DVDs on the shelf behind him, then holds up two boxes]

Ah, Dawn of the Dead (George Romero, 1978) and Day of the Dead (George Romero, 1985).

Also Night of the Living Dead. George Romero’s zombie films… I watched them very carefully. I watched them before I went to bed and I could sleep very well after watching them (laughs).

Were there any connections to the American underground at all?

Hmm… I often watched Kenneth Anger’s films. Scorpio Rising, for example.

What about Japanese films?

We didn’t have this kind of movie in Japan. Basically, I only watched foreign films. But there was Kon Ichikawa’s The Inugami Family (Inugamike no Ichizoku, 1976). The original version of the film. I saw this movie many times. With this movie I studied editing. I liked the editing in it.

Pinocchio √ 964 was shown at the Rotterdam Film Festival. Did you go there?

No, I didn’t. By chance, a programmer from Rotterdam saw Pinocchio √ 964 in Japan. He liked it, so he quickly invited the film to Rotterdam.

So you don’t know about the reaction of the audience over there.

Nothing at all. Later, I heard from this programmer that it went very well… He showed me a photo of the audience. That was cool.

Did Eirin ask for many cuts for the Japanese release of the film?

They checked the movie many times but they didn’t cut anything. But I had to explain the scenes over and over again. Finally it got an R rating.

In Japan, in which kind of theaters did the movie play?

It played at the Nakano Musashino Hall in Tokyo, which doesn’t exist anymore. Then, Nagoya, Osaka, Kyoto, Kyushu, maybe Hokkaido, I forgot the names of the theaters. It went to many places as a road show all over Japan.

How was the reaction of the Japanese audience?

Basically, the audience was not a film audience – more like a live music audience. They came to see an event. The style of the show was like a live concert. We took a PA into the theater. For example, these days many people go to see noise bands because they are rare. It was this kind of atmosphere. The places we showed the film were like live houses.

Pinocchio √ 964 got released in 1991. After that you started to work on Rubber’s Lover?

Yes, right after Pinocchio √ 964, I started to prepare Rubber’s Lover. That came out in 1996. I took me five years to make Rubber’s Lover.

Pinocchio √ 964 was do (active), Rubber’s Lover was sei (silent, static). From Rubber’s Lover on, claustrophobia became my new subject matter. It was about being trapped.

It’s also the very small group of actors which makes the movie very intense.

Yes, exactly. This feeling continues with the hikikomori in The Hiding.

I heard that during the shooting of Rubber’s Lover, the crew was not allowed to talk.

Yes. Talking was prohibited. It was very silent. This way, the actors could feel very much separated. I think that it was very hard for staff and cast.

How about the special effects? They look very good.

I had two special effects artists working with me. In Pinocchio √ 964, it was different. On that one, the effects were done by the main actor and me alone.

After Rubber’s Lover you were at the peak of your fame, but you very much dropped out of the picture…

After the theatrical release, the film had a video release. Then, I got a job at a video production company. I became interested in video work. For about 10 years I did work in video. I had no connections to film.

Did you also think that it was enough for the time being with the exploration of mental power?

Yes, I thought it’s enough now and I wanted to do something new. Then I encountered video. That one decade was visual work just as a business. But I wrote many scripts in that time, which I showed to many film companies. Inversely, sometimes major production companies asked me for scripts but my scripts were always too extreme for them and couldn’t get realized.

At that time, you also made the Psychic Image documentary…

That was company business. At the time, there was a genre called Original Video, which would now be V-Cinema. It was a part of my ten years in video.

At that time, you also made a documentary on the making of Isao Yukisada’s Go.

That was also a part of my company work.

The Hiding was then the first movie that got you back into independent filmmaking.

At first I worked as an independent, then in business, now I want to go back to independence. I thought, if I make my own films, which field would be best? I decided that independent film is best for me.

The Hiding goes back to your old subject matter, to the mental issues…

I want to interpret genres like horror in a different way. I want to show new ways. I like horror movies a lot, I study horror, so it’s not that I want to create a new genre. But I want to look at horror from a different angle.

In The Hiding, the main horror is in the head of the girl…

Yes, maybe unconsciously the root of my subject matter is the inside of the characters, their mental inner workings.

In an old interview, you talked about a movie you planned involving some virus.

I had planned to make that movie with a major company. But the contents were too extreme for them. I couldn’t realize this movie with a major company. Now, I think that I must make it on my own.

That’ll be your next big project?

I already started work on it. The film after The Hiding will be a prototype of my virus film. This next film already has a virus as subject matter. It’s the first step in making the virus movie. I want to evolve this subject matter.

Nowadays, can you still find people who would be willing to act as crazy as the folks in Pinocchio √ 964?

Yes, there are still people like that. In the film after The Hiding, I already use this kind of people. S-94 is the name of that film. That’s the name of the virus. It will appear in all upcoming movies. I have the same kind of people in there as in Pinocchio √ 964, and Rubber’s Lover.

The virus is a virus that infects people? It’s not a computer virus?

Yes, it is a disease-causing germ, it infects people. This virus changes the people’s consciousness.

Did you see Kinji Fukasaku’s film Virus from 1980?

Yes. That shows a virus in a very orthodox way. But I want to give a new interpretation. I want to make a new situation for the virus. My virus is also man-made. The scientists started out to create something for a totally different purpose but they accidentally make a new virus. But it’s not a biological weapon like in the Fukasaku film. S-94 is part of an omnibus project. Many different directors have their short films in there. After that, I will show S-94 in theaters. I made two versions of S-94, a 30-minute and a 15-minute version.

What do you think, is it more difficult or easier to work in independent film today?

That depends on the person.

On the one hand, you got much cheaper technology now like DV but on the other hand there is no big underground scene anymore to support projects.

Today’s indie situation is very interesting. In the past, you needed a big crew. Because we were using celluloid, the work was difficult. Now, one person can do all of that by himself. The first step in making a movie is very easy now. If you can establish yourself in making films and release them through DVDs, majors and indies can become equal. Of course, that includes the internet. On the other hand, unfortunately, the places where indies are shown go out of business. There are many cinema complexes now and they show only major movies. Theaters that show independent movies have become rare. Of course, many people have home theaters now and have the environment to see DVDs in their houses. They’ve got big screens, good sound equipment, they don’t need to go to theaters. They can also download films from the internet. That’s all very interesting.


Shozin Fukui’s 8 films

Scourge of Blood (1984)
‘A man randomly stabs a stranger. Polanski and Fukui began with exactly the same argument, but Fukui does it with loud rock, hyperactive editing ala Terayama and disorienting effects that do their work for good measure. It is meant to be a style-over-substance experiment, from the green-tinted screen to the overdone editing.’ — Edgar Cochran

Download the film here


Metal Days (1986)
‘One night, dynamites and machine guns were stolen from U.S.base by evil group. Next day, Masami, Norio and Jinpachi skipped work and went on a drive to nowhere. An annoying van driving too slow ahead of them made them even more irritated. They passed the van for fun. But the mad van raced pass their car and hold them completely. Besides, evil group came out of the back of the van… “METAL DAYS” was produced in the early period of Fukui’s career and was invited to many universities’ film festivals.’ — honekoubou.jp


Caterpillar (1988)
‘Like practically every other film Fukui would direct, Caterpillar is hard to explain, but while his later films would be tricky due to their incredibly convoluted, almost nonsensical plot, Caterpillar’s plot can’t be summarized because it doesn’t exist. That isn’t an insult, by the way—Caterpillar is a proudly non-narrative film, sporting less spoken lines of dialogue than you can count on your hands and even less clear characters. But the gist of it is that somewhere in Japan, a few wandering youths are being terrorized by a “caterpillar,” a massive, stop-motion silver and gold monstrosity stalking the streets of Tokyo. Oh, and did I mention there’s a cyborg kid stumbling around back alleys, trying not to vomit? Above all else, Caterpillar is a formal exercise. While it wasn’t Fukui’s first short film, it’s certainly his most out-there project, with each little vignette and character bringing its own strange imagery and content to the film. Like the works of Tsukamoto and Japanese punk godfather Sogo Ishii, there’s plenty of hyperkinetic, sped-up handheld camerawork and rapid cutting, plus the specific Tsukamoto touch of the “regular-sized monsters” turning people into massive Švankmajer/Harryhausen monstrosities with the handy trick of disorienting stop-motion. Add on a characteristically rich and unnerving soundscape, and you get one fascinating dystopian short.’ — Perry Ruhland

the entirety


Gerorisuto (1987)
‘A short experimental film by Japanese underground filmmaker Shozin Fukui. The film follows a young woman on the Tokyo subway, who may be possessed. The girl pukes away like mad. She can’t help exploding herself and barks against the crowd on the street as her spirit moves…’ — honekoubou.jp

the entirety


964 Pinocchio (1991)
Pinocchio 964 is a memory-wiped sex slave who is thrown out by his owners for failure to maintain an erection. It is unclear in what ways he has been modified beyond having no memory and being unable to communicate. He is discovered by Himiko while wandering aimlessly through the city. Himiko has also been memory-wiped, possibly by the same company that produced Pinocchio, but she is fully functional. Himiko spends her days drawing maps of the city, to aid other memory-wiped people. Himiko takes Pinocchio home and tries to teach him to speak. After much effort he has a breakthrough and finally becomes aware of his situation. At this point his body erupts in an inexplicable metamorphosis and it becomes clear that his modifications were much more involved and esoteric than simple memory loss. Himiko also begins to transform, though in a much more subtle manner.’ — letterboxd



the entirety


Rubber’s Lover (1996)
‘From Japanese cyberpunk auteur Shozin Fukui (Pinocchio 964) comes this dark tale of psychic experimentation and two researchers determined to continue their nightmarish experiments no matter what the cost. Fueled by endless funds and desperate to keep its unconventional experiments top-secret, a prosperous and powerful corporation begins conducting psychic experiments in which human subjects are administered ether, outfitted in rubber, and assaulted with D.D.D. (Digital Direct Drive) containing intense and nearly unbearable sound frequencies. When initial success at tapping into psychic ability is shadowed by an unusually high fatality rate, the corporation orders all experiments to come to an immediate halt despite the objections of head researchers Motomiya and Hitotsubashi — who immediately take their secretary hostage and transform one of their fellow researchers into a human guinea pig. Though the experiment is more of a success than Motomiya and Hitotsubashi could have ever imagined, the powerful and uncontrollable psychic energy they unleash threatens to destroy them both and alter the course of human evolution forever.’ — Jason Buchanan



Den-Sen (2006)
‘Shozin Fukui, whose directorial style is often compared to that of Shinya Tsukamoto, put out two extremely strange DV-shot cyberpunk horror films in the 90s, 964 Pinocchio in 1991 and Rubber’s Lover in 1996, returns to film after a 10 year hiatus with Den Sen. This film was shot entirely on Digital Video. A trio of journalists receive a mysterious DVD from an unknown source. The young woman journalist decides to watch the DVD and disappears. Her two friends begin an investigation into her disappearance that turns up a video she shot while watching the DVD they received in the mail. Upon viewing it appears she was not alone in her apartment. Who is the mystery woman seen only in a reflection and what caused the young lady to commit suicide?’ — World Cinema


the entirety (in Japanese)


S-94 (2009)
‘A virus called S-94 has wiped out most of human civilization by 2010. Only two women survive the pandemic and now live together within the confines of a secluded shelter: Miu (Nozomi Hatsuki), who desperately wants to live, and the suicidal Ice (Yuko Tatsushima). Even though they have opposite outlooks, they’ve been able to maintain balance so far. That balance is shattered one day when a new survivor named Shuma (Yuya Ishikawa) enters the picture. They find out about his existence through a radio broadcast and begin to fight over him in the face of an otherwise hopeless future.’ — The Quiet Earth





p.s. Hey. ** Thomas Moronic, Hi, Thomas! Very happy New Year to you and yours! Holy shit, so great about you finishing your novel, not to mention that your favored publisher is all into it! Amazing! Enjoy the happiness. Mine is still finding a publisher. It’s starting to drive me a bit nuts, but I guess that’s showbiz. Big love from over here to over there strategically targeted at you personally. ** Quinn R, Hi, Quinn. I’m glad if my words were of use. Yeah, it’s true that there can be a settling into a novel that turns insecurities into detritus. Once you’re in the grip of the project and start to feel like its driver/passenger. Hang in there. I’ve known Vince (Fecteau) since the early 90s. First his work, and then we became artist comrades and good friends. He’s easily one of my very, very favorite artists. Hard too choose favorite works by him. He’s never un-amazing to me. I think the newest work that was in a big show at the Wattis Institute this fall might be his best yet. I hope you get to see his work in person because it’s work that really needs to be experienced in person, walked around, viewed from various angles, up close and at some distance, to be fully appreciated. He shows with Mathew Marks, so maybe you’ll be able to see his work at the gallery in NYC sometime. A very happy New Year to you too, Quinn! ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Okay, I’ll put myself on alert re: Paul Vecchiali films, and I’ll check around the internet too. Thanks. ** _Black_Acrylic, HNY! It sounds like last night must have gone pretty festively. Jools Holland is still around and a thing! Quite the staying power dude. ** James, Happy start to a hopefully splendid new grouping of 10 years. I did completely zero to mark the crossover. What I always do then crashed before midnight. No, my novel is still searching, and I’m still waiting and anxious. Love back! ** KK, Hey, K! No, I have no interest in seeing ‘Uncut Gems’. I hated ‘Good Time’ and the new one sounds like the same tired 70s rehash with heavy-handedly ‘ugly’ insides type of deal. There’s nothing in the theaters here right now that I’m dying to see. Oh, I do want to see that 3D doc about Merce Cunningham. Maybe the new Takashi Miike and Ken Loach films. Congrats on the new published story! I’ll get over there. Everyone, Excellent writer Kyle Kirshbom who goes by KK around here has a new short fiction work called “I Wanna Go Shooting” just up on the Back Patio site. Give it a read and start 2020 right thereby. Here. You have a good one and more than one, man. ** Dominik, Hi, Dominik! Happy happy 2020 to you! How are you doing, pal? What’s going on in you and in your world? Love, me. ** Steve Erickson, Nice to hear that Pornhub is being branched out. I second your wish for this coming decade. I have hopes. ** Bill, Thanks, Bill, and you too! When the slave posts are at their best, which is surprisingly often to my mind, they’re a bit like ‘The Sluts’ only much, much better written. Those works you linked to are pretty awesome. I don’t know that artist, but I’ll scour his site. Nice, thanks, Bill! Keep enjoying everything. ** Keaton!, Keaton! Wait, ‘Keaton!’! A big old happiest New Year to you, sir. Yeah, I did my Mine for Yours. If you can’t find it, let me know, and I’ll link ya. Drill your day hard, really hard. ** Corey Heiferman, HNY! Wow, cool rabbi you’ve got there. I know pretty much nothing about men of the cloth, but that seems rare, but, again, what do I know. Three layers, that’s deep. I think there’s one station here where the 14 line is three stories down, but that’s it. It’s easy to romanticise a dad who turns their kid onto Bergman, et. al, and I do, although my friends with cultured, cool dads have been known to romanticise my culture-free dad. Keep on keeping on as you are since that seems to be working quite well. ** Right. Start your 2020 on a crazed, awesome note in the company of the films of Shozin Fukui. See you tomorrow.


  1. Something oddly sentimental about Fukui featuring innocent young girls watching horrific scenes in his films. Interesting that he likes “Scorpio Rising.” I suspect it’s because of the amount of visual information Anger packs in to a twenty minute or so movie.

    Here’s something a lot less troubling from Japan The lead singer played an important actin role in Clint Eastwood’ s “Letters From Iwo Jima”

    I hope everyone has heard of Oshima’s “Diary of a Shinjuku Thief.” it’s from 1968 and therefore part of a different era than Fukui but nonethelessresonant.

  2. Fukui looks totally up my alley, thanks! Will definitely spend some time with the online materials. Looks like it might be tough to get some of his other films; the two Unearthed DVDs are already marked out of print, hmm.

    Not much happens during the holidays, except for a massive protest march real close to where I’m staying. I was a block or two away from some of the ATM trashing. There’s something nasty in the air, probably tear gas residue.


  3. Hey, Dennis!

    Whenever I sit down to finally write something, I pull this utter and complete blank. I’m really glad to leave this last year behind and start a new one (and even more, a whole new decade!) because I’m a little bit obsessed with this “new blank page” feeling and 2019 was like one giant, unchanging, depressed mud for me. Or maybe a long, long labor period before a hard birth – that sounds a lot more optimistic and gentle.
    If all goes as planned, I’ll start testosterone mid-February and I have every intention of becoming my ultimate boymuse.

    How are you? Are you working on something new right now?
    I do hope your new novel finds a home very soon now! Waiting for it to finally happen must be nerve-racking. I keep my fingers mega-crossed!

    To start off this new everything the best way I can, I’m going to Prague with Anita tomorrow and I’ll be back next week!

    Tons of love ’til then!!

  4. Happy New Year, Dennis!!
    I finally saw ‘Permanent Green Light’. I liked it a lot. The performers, the piñatas, the colors, the locations, the idea about disappearing completely. It also felt like entering a known universe, something that happened to me with ‘Like Cattle Towards Glow’ too and it’s quite a unique experience. I’ll probably watch it a second time to get more nuances.
    Lots of love,

  5. great day, Dennis. Rubber’s Lover was one of the films that ushered me into an obsession with Japanese cult cinema.

    happy new year.

  6. Happy N.Y Dennis. Arrived in Belgium from S.A a few days ago where it was 35 degrees, last night was the first night we ventured out (for new years) and it was 5’ – twenty minutes before the countdown / fireworks my partner asked if we going home now lol… doesnt seem to be coping well with the cold. We been in Paris and Ghent before in winter and I don’t remembered it getting in the way but anyway tomorrow we need to go into town again so we ‘ll see but yeah so far its been kind of staying warm inside. Does the cold effect your coming and goings atm or generally? The metro back to normal yet.? Yesterday afternoon the heavy metal neighbour who drives a hearse brought us a fancy bottle of real champagne… one of my favourite quips is when we were walking home with hands full of groceries and the neighbour passes us, and when I ask for a lift he says “ Sorry die lijkwagen is vol” which translates to “sorry the corpse car is full . “

  7. Corey Heiferman

    January 2, 2020 at 8:26 am

    Fukui looks cool. I have faith my video store will have something of his.

    The title “Rubber’s Lover” reminded me of “Rubber Dolphin”, perhaps the most successful film to come out of Tel Aviv University in the past few years. It’s a glorified Grindr ad that made it to Cannes and other prestigious places. When I first saw it I felt upset that this softcore schmaltz was my school’s calling card. Then I took it as a sign of the absurdity of setting any goals related to film festival success, trying to definine goals in terms of process rather than results.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr3uVGGeXh4Good luck finding a publisher!

    Also, have you heard that Adobe will be ending support of Flash Player in December? I’m not enough of a techie to understand the exact implications but I hope this blog won’t be harmed.

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