Echoes of the past reverberate when an ex-call girl and a debtor meet two years after the desperate and fateful night that first brought them together. An existential study of two lonely and tortured souls, Somai’s torrid pinku eiga follows the pair as they kindle a newfound friendship amid the chaos of their broken and dispirited lives. Somai, who started his career as an assistant director at Nikkatsu in the ’70s, would not direct a feature for the studio until Love Hotel. Love Hotel is a melancholic entry into the studio’s legendary Roman Porno catalogue, set against the backdrop of a shimmering neon cityscape and soundtracked by Momoe Yamaguchi’s heartrending crooning.
Dir. Shinji Somai, 1985, 88 min., DCP, color, in Japanese with English subtitles. With Minori Terada, Noriko Hayami.
$15 Nonmembers / $10 Members
Part of the Globus Film Series: Rites of Passage
April 28—May 13, 2023
Rites of Passage showcases the work of Shinji Somai, an iconic Japanese director who remains largely unrecognized in the West. A pioneering filmmaker in the 1980s—a period sometimes described as Japanese cinema’s lost decade—Somai has had a persistent influence on filmmakers that followed, including Shunji Iwai, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Ryusuke Hamaguchi. Encompassing a mix of genre and stylistic conventions from independent art dramas to idol vehicles, Somai’s films are tied together by his potent depictions of the turbulence and volatility of youth growing up in an increasingly chaotic world.
Image: Love Hotel © 1985 Nikkatsu.
Rites of Passage: The Films of Shinji Somai is supported, in part, by a generous gift from The Globus Family.
Special Thanks to Bret Berg (AGFA); Ed McCarry (Cinema Guild); Miki Zeze (Kadokawa); Alo Joekalda (The National Film Archive of Japan); Mami Furukawa and Umi Yamamoto (Nikkatsu); Aya Takagawa (Shochiku).
Japan Society programs are made possible by leadership support from Booth Ferris Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Film programs are generously supported by ORIX Corporation USA, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and endowment support from the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund. Additional season support is provided by The Globus Family, David Toberisky, Akiko Koide and Shohei Koide, Geoff and Fumi Matters, Laurel Gonsalves, and David S. Howe. Transportation assistance is provided by Japan Airlines, the exclusive Japanese airline sponsor of Japan Society Film.
- Saturday, April 29, 2023
- 5:00 pm
- In-Person Event
- Reserved Tickets
- $15 Nonmembers
- $10 Members
- $12 Students/Seniors
- $10 Person with Disability