The University of Iowa

Pornography and Censorship in Japanese Slasher Films, Dec. 3

November 30th, 2010

Title: Pornography and Censorship in Japanese Slasher Films
Presented by: Miri Nakamura, Assistant Professor at Wesleyan University
When: Friday, Dec. 3, 2010 at 4 p.m.
Where: 101 Becker Communication Studies Building (BCSB)

This talk examines the birth and rise of Japanese “slasher films” in the 1980s, beginning with director Gaira (Komizu Kazuo)’s Entrails of the Virgin (1986). Scholarship on Japanese horror cinema has overlooked this genre, focusing mainly on the so-called “J-horror” films like Ringu and Juon, and it has often treated horror cinema as being part of Japanese “subculture” or “popular culture,” an entertainment genre completely separate from any “serious” discourse. Prof. Nakamura’s talk, in contrast, will show how the birth of these slasher films was directly connected to the 1960s New Wave Movement and specifically to the censorship enforced by Film Ethics Sustaining Committee (Eiga rinri kitei kanri iinkai). Gaira, a protégé of Wakamatsu Kôji, fused together the pornographic gaze of pinku eiga (soft-core porn) with the gaze towards the female body in American slasher films. His films constantly undermine and parody specific censorship in the Japanese film industry as an homage to New Wave directors such as Wakamatsu and Oshima Nagisa. By examining Japanese slasher cinema and its treatment of the sexualized female body, Prof. Nakamura propounds a historicized analysis of sexual discourse in these films.

This lecture is sponsored by the UI Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, the UI Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature and International Programs.