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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is amazing
This is an amazing vision of life among outcasts, prostitutes and the mentally ill against a straitlaced Japanese background. Anyone who has read Ryu Murakami's novels, like Coin Locker Babies and Pierced, will experience a deep satisfaction with this, his only film. Occasionally completely insane, mostly a very beautiful and measured and even haunting character study of...
Published on 27 April 2010 by Vermilion Sands

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Strange film
Didn't really get into it at all. Very disjointed. Won't be interested in Japanese cinema in future! Exotic or otherwise!
Published 14 months ago by Kenneth Peter Tyrrell


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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is amazing, 27 April 2010
By 
Vermilion Sands (Silkstone, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tokyo Decadence [1991] [DVD] (DVD)
This is an amazing vision of life among outcasts, prostitutes and the mentally ill against a straitlaced Japanese background. Anyone who has read Ryu Murakami's novels, like Coin Locker Babies and Pierced, will experience a deep satisfaction with this, his only film. Occasionally completely insane, mostly a very beautiful and measured and even haunting character study of a call girl and her daily grind. Great music by Sakamoto, and I often thought of the film AUDITION, which is based on one of his book. This movie is just as beautiful, and just as anti-socially disturbing.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Japanese Eroticism, 9 Jan 2011
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This review is from: Tokyo Decadence [1991] [DVD] (DVD)
The first half is about a shy young woman who makes her money doing whatever her clients desire. It's interesting and well acted. It's also very sexy. The Japanese make great films about desire, human passions, one might say 'perversions'. Half way through however the female lead goes on a quest to find her long lost love after taking LSD or something similar. Everything gets very confusing and she seems to become involved with a collection of lunatics in a park. I had no idea what was going on. The subtitles were only partial so they didn't help. Despite this I'd recommend Tokyo Decadence for the sensitivity of the acting and the interesting portrayal of a call girl by the lead.
A theme within the narrative is about the reasons people end up in this business: 'I had no talent for anything', she tells one client.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars art versus closed minds, 26 Jun 2010
This review is from: Tokyo Decadence [1991] [DVD] (DVD)
Ryu Murakami has written several books that I have found very useful in trying to understand the mental focus of the 9-5 type individual in a strongly regimented society like Japan,and by extension,my own..(Western..I call no country home..Born NZ,off th'rails UK,other things here + there..))The thing about Tokyo Decadence,is that the director has NOT pandered to the average 'porn' watcher's expectations..That's not what the book's about nor is it what the film's about.I was taken in for the 1st 45 minutes or so,by the straight forward depiction of the 'heroine's job,as she switches herself off in order to 'get the job done'.All well and good,and I would have thought 'yeah,life study,one persons ways of copimg.' But the 2nd half of the film changes pace so noticeably that it elevates the film to an existentialist view of where we all stand in rtelation to the society around us.Where Takashi Miike used Murakami's work to show inability to cope with the degradation of life(Audition),here there is NO 'finish',or coup de grace..life just goes on..as does the viewer's after the film ends.
Anyone who buys this film expecting 'porn' is just as blind as anyone who find's themself offended by the deadpan handling of the subject matter.
A perfectly made window into a short space of another's life. Bravo.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sexy but bizarre, 24 May 2012
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This review is from: Tokyo Decadence [DVD] (DVD)
I`m sure this is one you will have to watch again to fully take it in. It is a weird film but incredibly erotic. The scene with Ai at the window dripping with sweat is one of the hottest things I have seen in non pornographic cinema. It isn`t a sleazy film. It just happens to have graphic scenes in it. Worth buying but like I said you probably won`t get it first time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark 80's Japan, 10 May 2011
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This review is from: Tokyo Decadence [1991] [DVD] (DVD)
This film has a very strong 80's atmosphere, so if you miss that decade, you will enjoy this. Tokyo appears as a city where anything is possible and where people are always pushing the boundaries to the limit. The film manages to drag you into the dark side of the wealthy and it is a very dark side indeed...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A metaphor for lost values in modern Japan ?, 14 Aug 2012
By 
Mr. Philip Baird (Isle of Man) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tokyo Decadence [DVD] (DVD)
I'm not sure if I'm falling for a familiar cliche of cinema here but it seems to me that you need to go beyond the explicit depiction of perverted sexuality here and see Tokyo Decadence as a critique of a hyper-capitalist urban Japan in which traditional and wholesome bonds of love and family connection have been twisted, and have metamorphosed into the dark interior world of fantasy, narcissism, individualism, and alienation. All the characters in this movie are victims of this cold and soul-less society, where 'love' has been commodified and packaged into strange shapes and forms. Traditional characteristics of a pre-capitalist Japan such as respect and submission have been perverted into egotistic self-gratification and abasement before the new invisible god of money and exploitation. From the outset, the biggest victim, like a refugee from an Ozu film, is the beautiful and fragile Ai (the Japanese word for 'love' apparently) played by Miho Nikaido, adrift in a world where she doesn't belong. Instead of giving her selfless love to the man she has lost, she is reduced, perhaps out of a false sense of inadequacy and rejection, to servicing and fulfilling the desires of men who she can satisfy and make happy, although even in this she feels a sense of failure. It is one of the most heartbreaking aspects of this film that such a beautiful girl is wanted not for who she really is but for what she appears to be. The saddest episode is the most poetic scene where she journeys from the city into the suburbs to find her (and Tokyo's ?) lost heart and innocence. High on the drugs that she has become dependent on, she appears now as the little girl lost, a doll in a pretty dress trying to find her way back home to innocence, love, and nature. Her search is fruitless and she meets nothing but grotesques and the phantoms of her mind. Even her child-like dreams have become like the dark underworld of her clients. A beautiful shot of a simple bench and trees in a park gives us a glimpse of a world that she would once of inhabited but the film ends powerfully with her anonymously in motion through the rush of the city and a close-up of the red leather carrier that contains the 'tokens' of the love she brings.
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5.0 out of 5 stars nice add to my collection, 26 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Tokyo Decadence [1991] [DVD] (DVD)
suberb dealer!!! nice add to my collection!! i will sure buy more japanese movies in the future!!! very satisfied with this DVD!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss it if you want to know about the Japanese perversions, 3 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Tokyo Decadence [DVD] (DVD)
The unique collaboration of Ryu Murakami in cinema is a parable of sexual decay in the mind of Japanese, which mirrors the social decay of the 90's Japan. A prostitute is obliged to "service" various clients and is compelled to humiliation in a physical but more importantly, in a psychological way. This film shows no explicit scene, but nevertheless I will not recommend it to sensitive viewers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to watch... but worthwhile, 18 Dec 2011
This review is from: Tokyo Decadence [DVD] (DVD)
The first thirty minutes takes place during an S&M session between our main character, S&M girl Ai, and a salaryman. Quite explicit, both in nature and in dialogue, the scene involves use of a vibrator tied to Ai as the dominant salaryman brings his girlfriend round, purposely not having actual sex with Ai. In scenes taking place where Ai is on her own in the shower, you see just how good of an actress Miho Nikaido is managing to portray various emotions throughout the film, despite not even talking too much. As we learn throughout, she wants to go back to the married art gallery man she has been seeing and we see her efforts as they unfold.

The story, whilst basic in its outline, is surprisingly forthcoming and at times, very difficult to watch which shows the strengths of the director RyŻ Murakami as he puts a dark world into a dark place. Although sometimes the shots seem amateurish, it is forgiven by the way the story unfolds slowly, with good execution. Unfortunately, whilst the story unfolds slowly on purpose, some of the sex scenes can drag a little and lose their overall influence in the way we see Ai's life and because they are purposely not easy viewing, it can hurt the experience to a point.

The film is overall an interesting viewing, mainly down to how Ai's character is developed without much dialogue, but it's hard going. If you enjoy this type of cinema, you'll probably find this film as a recommended viewing, if not, you'll want to rent it. 3.5/5
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4.0 out of 5 stars You can't tell a film by the cover, 5 Aug 2011
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This review is from: Tokyo Decadence [1991] [DVD] (DVD)
The cover and the title of this dvd looks like it might be a japanned Tinto Brass film. Nothing could be further from the truth. The voyeuristic scenes start early on giving scant clues to the underlying story of why this young woman has ended up in a life of prostitution. The 'working girl' scenes focus on the japanese male sexuality, which, as many people know, is very far from 'normal' and tend to follow s&m tastes. The heroine participates in these with an almost bewildered innocence, only failing to fulfil one of her client's desires. The film is well scripted and beautifully filmed with an almost tragic ending which may explain the path our protagonist took.
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Tokyo Decadence [DVD]
Tokyo Decadence [DVD] by Ryu Murakami (DVD - 2011)
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