Friday, September 26, 2014

Yôko Nakajima: New Love in Tokyo

Yôko Nakajima in Ai no shinsekai ("New Love in Tokyo"; 1994)
I'm still spending all my online time in Pink-related activities these days. Besides the usual IMDb work (year 2000 and Pink Film Awards currently), the major project underway currently is identifying, categorizing and uploading that stash of 500 Roman Porno poster/still/VHS cover images I came across last week. As I've stated many times, I like the pink/Roman Porno films for their interesting film work, combined with the emphasis on the erotic, but most of the actresses are pretty dull-- the kind of thin girl that is generally held up as the non plus ultra of beauty. Once in a while there is a girl in one of these films who catches my eye, and, naturally, she is usually made an object of fun, rather than desire. One such lovely, neglected damsel is Yôko Nakajima (中島陽子), whom I came across in celebrated Pink auteur Banmei Takahashi's celebrated 1994 film Ai no shinsekai (English title: New Love in Tokyo).
Yôko Nakajima
Chubby, cutie Yôko-san was born June 1, 1967 in Saitama, stands a mere 153cm (5') tall, but tips the scales at 92kg (203 lbs). Her Yahoo profile says her interests are film and stage appreciation. As part of the preparation for this post, I have added what I could to her IMDb profile, including appearances in films which IMDb didn't have yet. Here is what appears to be her homepage at her talent agency, and it gives her quite a a respectable list of credits in stage, screen and TV.  Her filmography is pretty short, but she has appeared in some high-profile productions, with major director.
Yôko Nakajima
Yôko-san's first screen appearance seems to have been in one of Academy Award-winning Pink maestro Yôjirô Takita's early mainstream films, Yamai wa kikara: Byôin e ikô 2 (1992). In 1996, she appeared in major writer-director Jûzô Itami's penultimate film Sûpâ no onna. (Itami was the master-mind behind the huge international hit Tampopo, released in Japan in 1985).
Yôko Nakajima in Ikitai (1999)
In 1999 she had a bit part as a woman having trouble with scissors in Kaneto Shindô's Ikitai. Shindô gave Japanese cinema such classics as The Naked Island (1960), Onibaba (1964), and Kuroneko (1968). Ikitai is a late film in Shindô's career, giving us his take on the ubasute legend of abandoning the elderly to their death, which is common to Japan and Korea. Other directors who have treated this story include  two of my favorites: Japanese Shôhei Imamura in The Ballad of Narayama (1983), and Korean Kim Ki-young in Goryeojang (1963).
Yôko Nakajima in A Snake of June (2002)
Director Shin'ya Tsukamoto had Yôko-san in a nightmarishly Fellini-esque/Tin Drum-ish scene in his 2002 erotic thriller, A Snake of June.
Yôko Nakajima in A Snake of June (2002)
I saw and enjoyed this film a few years ago, but Yôko apparently didn't make an impression on me at this time, probably due to the eery imagery involved. Look at those legs though!
Sora Aoi and Yôko Nakajima in Enjo-kôsai bokumetsu undô: jigoku-hen (2004)
She doesn't seem to have acted in any true Pink films, but in 2004 she had a fairly large role alongside big-name AV/Pink stars Sora Aoi and Minami Aoyama in the Pink-style V-cinema, Enjo-kôsai bokumetsu undô: jigoku-hen (English: "Stop the Bitch Campaign 2: Picture of Hell").
Yôko Nakajima in Enjo-kôsai bokumetsu undô: jigoku-hen (2004)
This is an amusing little Pinkie-comedy in the style of Mototsugu Watanabe, whose films are kind of a throw-back to American/British nudie-cuties of the late '50s, early '60s, The Immoral Mr. Teas era, which were in turn throwbacks to the classic naughty comedic form of burlesque. This one gives us the chance to see darling Yôko in the role of Totoko, a prostitute who acts as a female sumo wrestler.
Yôko Nakajima in Enjo-kôsai bokumetsu undô: jigoku-hen (2004)
In contrast to the loveable, sweet character she displays in the more realistic film, New Love in Tokyo, she is in cartoonish, aggressive, attack-mode here... and I love it! As befits the film, her acting is over-the-top, and she is quite funny. Unfortunately, she doesn't perform any nude scenes, but who of us here wouldn't want to be splattered by that marauding mass of feminine pulchritude?! Another profile indicates that she's still working, having most recently appeared in Ashita, mama ga inai# 8 (明日、ママがいない #8) in March 2014. Her agency's mainpage says she's scheduled to appear in director Yû Irie's Hibi Rock (日々ロック) to be released November 22, 2014.
Yôko Nakajima in Ai no shinsekai ("New Love in Tokyo"; 1994)
But back to the main film under consideration tonight-- New Love in Tokyo (1994). Based on the photobook of the same name by photographer Nobuyoshi Araki, this is purported to be the first Japanese mainstream film to show full frontal (female, non-sexual) nudity. Yôko-chan, unfortunately, is not involved in that nudity. She plays the role of chubby girl "Sakura", the one sexless member of the crew/cast of a theater troupe. The script does at least give her a chubby boyfriend, to show she is desirable... if only to one of her own "kind".
Yôko Nakajima
Look at that pretty face, those thick legs and that big, full chest-- I'd much rather see her in the main role than skinny Sawa Suzuki, who won all kinds of awards for this film. Though she has a fairly extensive role in the film, I see Yôko-chan is not even in IMDb's cast listing for the film. This oversight will soon be corrected, I assure you.
Yôko and her beau in Ai no shinsekai ("New Love in Tokyo"; 1994)
This is a mainstream production from Toei, but the film is basically a feature-length Pink film with high production values. Like Pink, it gives the audience a steady variety of sexual scenes covering numerous deviated preversions-- some of these scenes even more explicit than in many Pink films. To give these sex scenes a raison d'être, and to justify the use of Araki's nude photography, it tells a story of sex-industry workers. I don't mean this as a put-down, because it is a very good movie.
Yôko poolside, in Ai no shinsekai ("New Love in Tokyo"; 1994)
One of the crew suggests that Yôko perform in the erotic posing, and I suppose we're supposed to think that's funny and snicker at the embarrassed Yôko, who bashfully refuses to respond. But I was hoping that this might come true, even if it was for laughs. Unfortunately the suggestion was not followed up on.
Yôko (L) and film's star, Sawa Suzuki (R) in Ai no shinsekai ("New Love in Tokyo"; 1994)
We do get a swimming-suit scene though, which is quite nice for us fans of the fuller figure. Look above. If you prefer the film's star (to the right) over Yôko-chan (on the left), you just may be at the wrong blog! The men in the film, of course, all drool over the skinny girl, and gorgeous Yôko-chan is just the subject of fat-jokes.
Yôko carries her boyfriend home in the conclusion of Ai no shinsekai ("New Love in Tokyo"; 1994)
The film concludes with a big celebration with a lot of dancing and drinking. In the last scene, dear Yôko shows one more advantage to having a big, solidly-built girlfriend if you're a drinker!

No comments:

Post a Comment