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Originally published June 1, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified June 1, 2007 at 2:01 AM

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Movie review

"Sachiko Hanai" is half genius, half sex machine, all raunch

There's nothing new about a cult film being both prurient and cinematically interesting. But in the case of "The Glamorous Life of Sachiko...

Special to The Seattle Times

Movie review 1 stars


"The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai," with Emi Kuroda. Directed by Mitsuru Meike,

from a screenplay by Nakano Takao. Not rated; for mature audiences (much graphic sex

and violence). 90 minutes. In Japanese with English subtitles. Northwest Film Forum.

There's nothing new about a cult film being both prurient and cinematically interesting. But in the case of "The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai," there's a whole lot of the former and precious little of the latter — despite a strained effort to straddle two kinds of audiences, one for soft-core porn and one for quirky sex farces.

Movie review 1 stars


Showtimes and trailer

"The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai," with Emi Kuroda. Directed by Mitsuru Meike, from a screenplay by Nakano Takao.

Not rated; for mature audiences (much graphic sex and violence). 90 minutes. In Japanese with English subtitles.

Emi Kuroda stars as Sachiko, a prostitute who specializes in enacting the fantasies of repressed men. When she is accidentally shot in the forehead by a spy on the trail of President Bush's cloned finger (yes, you read that right), her brain kicks into overdrive.

Desperate to read and discuss Immanuel Kant, Susan Sontag and Albert Camus, Sachiko literally hungers for logic and philosophy. At the same time, she's having graphic sex with just about anything male and has moments of clairvoyance but is beset by what seems to be eroding sensory abilities.

Director Mitsuru Meike fiddles with crude notions of political satire and existential dramedy. But there's no mistaking his real interest, which is getting Kuroda naked as often as possible and filming hastily composed scenes of coitus and rape.

Meike may be trying to reel in hipsters by juxtaposing the licentious with the lettered. But "Sachiko Hanai" is pretty much just raunch, much like the stuff that insinuates itself onto late-night premium channel programming. And which gets old fast.

Tom Keogh: tomwkeogh@yahoo.com

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