Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Glamorous Life Of Sachiko Hanai

Illustration for article titled The Glamorous Life Of Sachiko Hanai

Ever want to see a horny Japanese nymph penetrated by the cloned, disembodied finger of George W. Bush? Then The Glamorous Life Of Sachiko Hanai—a campy, surrealistic Japanese art film laced with softcore erotica (or more accurately, softcore erotica laced with art-camp surrealism)—is the movie for you. Expanded from a sex-drenched 65-minute feature called Horny Home Tutor: Teacher's Love Juice, Sachiko Hanai belongs to a tradition of Japanese sexploitation called "pink films," which offer copious female nudity and simulated sex while tiptoeing around the censors. In truth, the geopolitical talking points and high-minded literary references littering the film amount to little more than intellectual window-dressing, an appeal to men who get off watching women who get off at the mere mention of Noam Chomsky's name.

The luscious Emi Kuroda stars as, well, a horny home tutor who makes learning fun for her students, who have ample motivation to get their homework done. (The answers don't have to be right, either: Kuroda declares New York the capital of the United States, and Washington D.C. the capital of New York.) One evening, Kuroda unwittingly stumbles onto a meeting between North and South Korean terrorists, and gets shot in the head. Miraculously, she not only survives, but the bullet lodged in her brain stimulates an intellectual awakening, leading her to stencil complicated math equations on alleyway walls and literally devour pages from library books. Having escaped the crime scene with W's cloned finger, Kuroda seeks refuge with a philosophy professor (Yukijiro Hotaru) and his family, all while uncovering a sinister conspiracy and fucking as much as possible.

The audience for Sachiko Hanai probably overlaps with those who find porn star and MySpace vixen Sasha Grey extra hot because she's into Joy Division, Miles Davis, and the films of Michelangelo Antonioni. Rather than animate the go-for-broke zaniness of the script, which hits on some funny ideas, director Mitsuru Meike shoots every scene with the perfunctory style of an average porno movie. That leaves Kuroda to spice up the action with some old-fashioned, late-night-cable flesh-baring every 10 minutes or so, and to that end, she's a dynamo, though like the women in American sex comedies, she makes her partners look uniformly inept. Truth be told, Sachiko Hanai is probably an accomplished "pink film"; just don't mistake it for something classier.