About to premiere at Tribeca 2011 is Shinji Imaoka's pinku musical Underwater Love
. Expect audiences to be confused, enthralled and - potentially - outraged.
A legend in his field, director Imaoka is a sort of pinku auteur - a director of sex films that while certainly containing lots of sex also challenge the notion that sex films can only mean base pornography. The man brings a degree of art to his craft and a certain gonzo mentality that means you can never be sure what's coming next. And what's coming next from him is Underwater Love
Thirtysomething Asuka has an easy life, a job in a fish factory, and a
fiancé, Taki, who's also her boss. One day, as she walks by the lake
near the factory, she sees her first kappa - a legendary Japanese
creature with a human form but a beak face and tortoiseshell back. She
soon realizes that the kappa is her old friend from school, Aoki, who
drowned when he was 17. As she hides Aoki from her fiancé and others,
she must begin to decide what is most important for her.
Shot by famed cinematographer Christopher Doyle - the man behind the camera for Hero
and most of Wong Kar Wai's key work - with music by Germany's Stereo Total, Underwater Love
is a full on sex musical. But, more than that, it's a fantasy sex musical, with the love story playing out between a human and a kappa - a creature from Japanese folklore brought to life with prosthetic effects by Tokyo Gore Police
director Yoshihiro Nishimura.
We joked when this was announced that with Doyle at the helm it would probably end up as the best looking pinku film ever made. And now with an extensive gallery of stills - eight shots plus two poster designs - we get our first indication that we may just have been right about that. Check them out below.
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