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Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 18:30 - 21:30

The utterly improbable but mostly true adventures of Japan’s 1980s porn king
Sneak Preview Screening: "Dynamite Graffiti (Sutekina Dynamite Scandal)"
follow by a Q&A session with director Masanori Tominaga and star Tasuku Emoto

Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 18:30 – 21:30*03142018 Dynamite Graffiti 356p
*Please note early start timeIn Japanese with English subtitles

Japan, 2018 138 minutes  
Warning: Adult images

Director: Masanori Tominaga
Writer: Masanori Tominaga, adapted from the original essay by Akira Suei
Producers: Asako Nishikawa, Toshikazu Nishigaya
Starring: Tasuku Emoto, Atsuko Maeda, Toko Miura, Kazunobu Mineta,
Yutaka Matsushige, Jun Murakami, Machiko Ono

Film courtesy of Tokyo Theatres                    

If you never quite believed that truth is stranger than fiction, "Dynamite Graffiti" is your antidote.

In the early years of the bubble era, struggling illustrator Akira Suei discovered he could make more money in the erotic publishing business than painting signboards for Tokyo's increasingly naughty cabarets. By the early 1980s, he had become the Hugh Hefner of Japan, editing in quick succession three best-selling pornography magazines: New Self, Weekend Super and Shashin Jidai (Photo Age). Remarkably uninterested in porn himself, he focused instead on printing the work of distinguished writers like Genpei Akasegawa, copywriter Shigesato Itoi, editor-illustrator Sinbo Minami and art-photographers Nobuyoshi Araki and Daido Moriyama, earning them international renown and bringing unexpected cachet to his publications.

But as Suei continued to press buttons and push boundaries, police scrutiny intensified. Called in regularly to be reminded just what was permissible in print (pubic hair, penetration and sex organs were absolute no-nos), he mastered the art of the repeated apology ("I apologize, but never regret") and with "balls and stamina," managed to stay in business and to capitalize on the zeitgeist (inadvertently inventing telekura along the way). Then one day, the freewheeling '80s were over, Suei's magazines were banned and he lost millions of yen in bad investments.

So, he did what any bankrupt publisher would do: dressed up like his mother and began pitching "How to Win at Pachinko" guides on television.

Suei, as we've been amply reminded, has a mother issue. "Some say art is an explosion," he references Taro Okamoto early in the film. "In my case, my mom was an explosion." He's not being metaphoric. When he was a child in Okayama, his mother blew herself and her young lover to bits with sticks of dynamite from the nearby coal mines. It is a defining moment that the adult Suei (played with amiable and indelible charm by Tasuku Emoto in the film), can't get out of his mind.

With "Dynamite Graffiti," Masanori Tominaga has fashioned a biopic that is at once a spirited, sprightly slice of the times and an ode to his subject's self-made success through sheer hard work. Despite the often salacious subject matter of the film, like Shohei Imamura's "The Pornographers," it is heavy on double entendre and suggestion, but light on the actual sex act itself. In this age of #MeToo and #TimesUp, "Dynamite Graffiti" also feels blessedly free of casual sexism and gratuitous smut.

Please join us for this sneak preview of "Dynamite Graffiti" opens in Japan on March 17.
For more (in Japanese):

Writer-director MASANORI TOMINAGA studied film at Nihon University and directed his first independent feature, "Vicunas," in 2002. He made his commercial film debut with "The Pavilion Salamandre" (2006), and went on to direct "Pandora's Box" (2009), "Vengeance Can Wait (Ranbo to Taiki)" (2010), "Rolling" (2015) and last fall's "Pumpkin and Mayonnaise" (2017). He has also directed such well-regarded documentaries as "The Echo of Astro Boy's Footsteps" (2011), and been active on TV, where he oversaw the 2016 miniseries "Dias Police: Ihou Keisatsu."

TASUKU EMOTO made his acting debut in "A Boy's Summer in 1945" (2003). He went on to star in "Peace of Cake" (2015), "Gonin Saga" (2015) and "Reminiscence" (2017), as well as appearing in such TV dramas as NHK's "Sunshiny Asa" and "Road to Eden." He is also active on the stage and is currently starring in "The Secret Garden." He will next be seen in the upcoming release "And Your Bird Can Sing."

Please make your reservations at the FCCJ Reception Desk (3211-3161) or register below. You may attend the Q&A session without attending the screening, but you will not have seating priority. Please reserve in advance, still & TV cameras inclusive. All film screenings are private, noncommercial events primarily for FCCJ members and their guests.         

- Karen Severns, Film Committee

03142018 Dynamite Graffiti 290p.jpg
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