New Documentary Looks at the Troubled lives of Japan’s male porn stars

from www.tokyoreporter.com – Being a porn star is a dream job for a lot of men. Yet, according to Nikkan Gendai, Japan has only 70 such positions in its immense adult video (AV) industry.

For those left to contemplate what might have been, there is the recent release of “The Other Side Of The Sex,” a documentary in which 20 male actors, including veterans Taka Kato, Tatsuro Hibino (@tatsurohibino), Ryuji Yamamoto, discuss women, sex, and more — but implore that it’s hard work, so to speak.

“They’ll often boast about having 100 women,” says co-director Hidekazu Takahara (@takaharahdkz). “But they will also have to be able to get it up in front of an actress they don’t desire.”

The job transcends gender and sexuality, he continues: “It is here where one can discover what is authentic and artificial about fantasies with women.”

The 86-minute film comes three decades after the birth of AV films, whose presence in the 1980s encroached upon the market for “pinku eiga,” or pink films, and Nikkatsu “roman porno” pictures. At present, the industry reportedly employs 10,000 actresses, releases 4,500 titles monthly, and generates 55 billion yen in annual sales.

Takahara, however, looks back further to the release of “In the Realm of the Senses,” the 1976 erotic drama directed by Nagisa Oshima, for the real origin of AV.

Oshima, who passed away in January, insisted that non-simulated sex take place in the film, which is a fictionalized view of the 1936 incident whereby a former prostitute severed her lover’s penis and testicles.

“That film caused an uproar,” says Takahara, who got his start in pink films. “Now, real sex is normal.”

“We have gone from three shoots in two days in the past to four or five shoots in one day,” says the film’s other director, Yujiro Enoki, a 20-year industry stalwart, who has more than 2,000 titles to his credit. “An actor has got to rise to the occasion seven times (in one day), and for each of those times it is with a different actress.”

Furthermore, nudity on camera mandates that one stays in shape.

“If an actor’s body goes flabby, it doesn’t work,” says Enoki. “Popular guys train at the gym.”

That’s not all, says Takahara.

“Actors need to have their fingernails trimmed and be aware of bad breath,” the director says. “You also hear about quite a few guys taking zinc supplements to make their ejaculate seem more white.”

For actresses, too, times have changed. Fans are posting their opinions on the Internet, whereby they demand more performances by “mature” (or jukujo) actresses and gentle presentations of sensitive subjects, such as teenage prostitution.

Takahara looks back fondly on the good old days.

“It used to be a matter of working for one month, spending two months overseas, and returning to Japan with no money,” the director says. “But nowadays there has been an upswing in competition and a drop in sales. That dream-like period doesn’t exist any longer.”

Yet Takahara continues working in the biz, saying that the process always starts with nudity, and he likes that “raw feeling.”

“When I shoot and I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he says, “that’s the reason I work as a director.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*