The Great Kaiju, Godzilla 60 Years and Crossing the Boundary between Eroticism and Perversion: Tinto Brass


The Great Kaiju, Godzilla 60 Years and Crossing the Boundary between Eroticism and Perversion: Tinto Brass




The 18th Puchon Fantastic Film Festival(PiFan, Festival Director KIM Young Bin) opening this July 17th announced various Special Programs including 'The Great Kaiju, Godzilla 60 Years' and 'Crossing the Boundary between Eroticism and Perversion: Tinto Brass Showcase'.


The Great Kaiju, Godzilla 60 Years

The legend of the present, and way into the future, of the monster, Godzilla! It is no exaggeration that all western and eastern monster-characters are, in some way, influenced by the great Godzilla. The legendary monster is still alive today, and will, no doubt show up again - in a different guise perhaps - before too long in the future. To mark the 60th anniversary of Godzilla's birthday, PiFan has organized a special exhibition called 'The Great Kaiju, Godzilla 60 Years' this year. Despite its global popularity, in Korea, Godzilla has not gained that much attention, largely due to the national policy banning Japanese cultural imports to Korea, right up until mid 1990's. In this respect, this special exhibition will be a more meaningful and valuable occasion. From the original Godzilla of way back in 1954, which spawned the monster-movie genre, to Invasion of Astro Monster and Destroy All Monsters - which featured a showdown between Godzilla and King Ghidorah - to Godzilla vs. Hedorah and Terror of Mechagodzilla. Then there was Godzilla vs. Biollante, cited as one of the most precious masterpieces among all 'Godzilla VS' series, leading ultimately to the all-star monster-movie: Godzilla: Final Wars. So, sit back and enjoy the greatest of the original monster-movies, in the Great Kaiju. (Alice YOO, PiFan Programmer)


<Godzilla> HONDA Ishiro, Japan, 1954
The mysterious disappearance of a fishing boat turns out into a grave calamity that wipes out an entire island nearby. An investigation team arrives in Tokyo, only to be confronted by 'Godzilla': a giant sea monster with radioactive breath. The only way to stop the monster is to use the 'chemical of fear', which was invented by Serizawa, and kills all living things.

The first Godzilla series of films holds a narrative that sublimates the fear of war and nuclear weapons, plays on the archetypal Japanese dread of Nature, resulting in entertainment on a huge scale. After attracting a vast number of viewers in Japan, the film was then quickly sent to America, where a slightly different version was released; with the addition of some new scenes featuring American actors. From this, the Japanese 'monster movie' developed into an exotic B-culture in America, under the name of 'Kaiju'.(KIM Ik Hwan)

Invasion of Astro Monster

Invasion of Astro Monster

<Invasion of Astro Monster> HONDA Ishiro, Japan, 1965
This is a monumental film that, for the first time, combines the two genres of Monster-film and Sci-Fi movie. Spacecraft P-1, which was exploring the newly-discovered Planet X, meets aliens from the planet, known as Xiliens, from an advanced civilization - the Xiliens have been attacked by the fearsome monster, 'Monster Zero'. The identity of Monster Zero is none other than the three-headed space dragon, King Ghidorah.

Destroy All Monsters

Destroy All Monsters

<Destroy All Monsters> HONDA Ishiro, Japan, 1968
The science of mankind has completed studies of the habits of all giant monsters, and has confined them in an area known as 'Monsterland'. However, someone attacks Monsterland, and all of the monsters begin to attack world capitals. In order to find out the truth of the matter, the spaceship, Moonlight SY-3, arrives at Monsterland, and they are faced with Monsterland's employees who attack them. This film, which features all the monsters seen in the previous pictures made by Toho Company, was the studio's attempt to round off the monster film genre.


<Godzilla vs. Hedorah> BANNO Yoshimitsu, Japan, 1971
During the 1970s, when all areas of Japan has been polluted, a microscopic alien life form feeds on the Japanese coastal pollution, in order to grow into the poisonous sea monster 'Hedorah', that then raid all parts of Japan and thousands of people are killed. Godzilla comes to help, but even Godzilla is overwhelmed by Hedorah's poisonous discharges. It is one of the best of the Godzilla series directed by Banno Yoshimitsu, who was also involved in the most recent Godzilla incarnation of 2014. While the original embodies the fear of nuclear weapons and war continuing until the 1950s, Hedorah exemplifies the fear of the pollution threatening Japan in the 1970s, making the viewing public feel the horror of the monster itself for a long time.


<Terror of Mechagodzilla> HONDA Ishiro, Japan, 1975
This is the last of the 'classic' Godzilla films, the series of which started way back in 1954. Aliens from beyond a black hole, plan to invade the Earth by using Mechagodzilla, but they fail. However, a second group of aliens recovers the remains of the Mechagodzilla that was destroyed by Godzilla, and successfully bring it back to life. Also, the monster 'Titanosaurus', which is raised by a mad scientist who wants to destroy all mankind, joins in the invasion of Earth. Can Godzilla confront them all and protect the Earth?


<Godzilla vs. Biollante> OHMORI Kazuki, Japan, 1989
Godzilla, that turned Tokyo into ashes, is led to a volcano by a scientist, to disappear in the bubbling lava. However, there is a veiled feud between governments, and companies of various countries, over the 'G cells' that are left behind by Godzilla. During the process, a female scientist is killed by a terrorist. The father of the female scientist, acknowledged as an expert in genetic engineering, creates 'a rose that never withers' by adding his daughter's DNA to the genetic composite.

The Godzilla series, revived in 1984, turned Godzilla back into a symbol of fear by negating the existence of all the Godzilla films since 1954. This film, which was released in 5 years after this.


<Godzilla: Final Wars> KITAMURA Ryuhei, Japan, 2004
The final battle between the Earth Defense Force(EDF)'s undersea battleship, the Gotengo, and Godzilla end in victory for the Gotengo. After many years, mutants with outstanding ability appear among mankind. The special forces consisting of these mutants become the core military strength of EDF. However, one day, the Earth is warned about an impending asteroid called 'Gorath' that will impact soon.

Following Destroy All Monsters in 1968, the screen is once again full of all nature of monsters, revitalized some 30~40 years later: monster-characters such as Ebirah, Minilla, and Gigan, as well as old favorites like Godzilla, Rodan, and Mothra.


Crossing the Boundary between Eroticism and Perversion: Tinto Brass

Often misunderstood and associated with such characteristics as a voyeur, a pornographer, and debauched among others, Tinto Brass has no doubt left a huge impression in the history of cinema with his maestro-like touches in eroticism and frank sexuality with sense of humor. PiFan2014 presents six of his noteworthy films covering his 'avant-garde' days of the Sixties to his trademark sex films leading up to the 21st century, providing an invaluable opportunity to witness his remarkable filmography. This retrospective is a wonderful opportunity to realize he is much more than just 'tits and asses' director that, in fact, he deserves to be recognized as an erotic genius and an artist extraordinaire of sensuality. (Jongsuk Thomas NAM, Managing Director, Network of Asian Fantastic Films)

Deadly Sweet

Deadly Sweet

<Deadly Sweet> Tinto Brass, Italy, 1967
Deadly Sweet is Tinto Brass' attempt at a crime genre with his own interpretation of 'giallo'. Bernard meets Jane at a nightclub in London, and is infatuated by her. Later, he finds her standing over a corpse of a man who turns out to be the killer of her father. Insisting she is innocent, Jane and Bernard run away and are chased after by various group including the police. Bodies pile up as they try to prove Jane's innocent and, in the end, Bernard has to make a difficult choice in seeking the truth.


<The Howl> Tinto Brass, Italy, 1968   
With emphasis on striking visuals and anti-war social commentary, The Howl is a surreal, sometimes disturbing and at other times beautiful journey of two vagabond characters having subversive fun. Nominated for Golden Bear at the 1970 Berlinale.

A bizarre counterculture film from 1968 reflecting that turbulent year. Anita, a leftwing activist, is raped by police following her arrest at a demonstration. Her fiancée Berto still wants to marry her, but Anita runs away from their performance-art/wedding. She meets Coso, a possible prison escapee, and together they wander about Italy meeting bizarre characters along the way.


<Salon Kitty> Tinto Brass, Italy/West Germany/France, 1976
An Italy-France-West Germany coproduction from 1976, this is an erotic tale based on the novel by Peter Norden, covering the real-life events of the Sicherheitsdienst taking over a costly Salon Kitty brothel in Berlin, wiretapping the place and replacing prostitutes with trained spies to gather data on Nazi party members and foreign dignitaries. It is often considered as the first Nazisploitation film of its kind. This led to Tinto's eventual meeting with Bob Guccione, the publisher of adult magazine 'Penthouse', who agrees to finance Tinto to direct what is considered as his most controversial work, Caligula(1979).


<Caligula> Tinto Brass, Italy/USA, 1979
Considered as one of the most controversial films ever made, Caligula is an explicit tale of a decadent Roman emperor with brutality and insanity during his reign that ultimately brings his downfall. Caligula is a young heir to the Emperor Tiberius, a mad old man suffering from syphilis. He conspires to kill his uncle Tiberius and, in doing so, eliminates all his conspirators as well. Claiming all control of Rome, Caligula declares himself a god and begins his bloody, deviant rein.


<All Ladies Do It> Tinto Brass, Italy, 1992
Diana is a happily married to Paolo. Yet because of her nymphomaniac nature, she keeps having various sexcapades that she displays to her husband, which fuels their healthy love life. However, Paolo becomes jealous when Diana gets into a stormy affair with Alphonse the poet, and ends up rejecting Diana. Trying to forget her sorrow, Diana dives into an excessive, wild orgy with her sister and some friends.

Although the film features an abundance of both male and female nudity with perceived sexual intercourses, it is more than just porn; rather, it is beautifully shot erotica in Tinto's signature style of silly, light-hearted humor and sex as an art form.


<Do It!> Tinto Brass, Italy, 2003
An omnibus sexcapade from the maestro of Italian erotica, Do It! deals with joys of sexuality and the eroticism of a new generation of women. This six-episode film comes alive with Brass' trademark of frank yet playful expression, coming to a full climax with a cameo by the director himself as a peeping tom in the last episode.



<Istintobrass> Massimiliano Zanin, Italy, 2014
Exciting documentary about Italian director Tinto Brass, renowned 'bad boy' for his frank depiction of sexuality. Brass speaks about his illustrious career, from his early anarchic, subversive films like debut Who Works Is Lost, the pop-art western Yankee, The Howl to his trademark sex films of later years. An omnibus sexcapade from the maestro of Italian erotica, Do It! deals with joys of sexuality and the eroticism of a new generation of women. This six-episode film comes alive with Brass' trademark of frank yet playful expression, coming to a full climax with a cameo by the director himself as a peeping tom in the last episode.

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