My esteemed colleague already talked about how the Oscars this year are a joke. I always go on how it’s not about art; the Oscars are a business, and businesses exist to make money. The more people who watch the Oscars the more money Oscars Inc makes. The way to maximize profits is to include the most popular, highest grossing, films in the nomination process. But there was one bright light in the whole pony show and that was The Cove winning best documentary. Maybe now it can get played in Nipon since the city where it takes place effectively banned the film from playing in Japan.

Reading about the Cove got me thinking about last year at the Oscars when Departures won best foreign film over the Israeli, Waltz With Bashir. I thought Bashir should have won, however Departure dealt with some big Japanese social issues, the Japanese underclass or Japanese version of the untouchables, who deal with the dead and are ostracized from society.

Then as I was reading more about the director of Departures, Yōjirō Takita, I discovered to my great amusement he used to be a big porn director making such hits as GROPER TRAIN: Search For The Black Pearl which judging from the DVD cover looks like a great “serious” flick about getting groped on the train. Then looking around it seems that a lot of Japanese directors got their start doing porn or as the Japanese call it, Pink Films (Oh how kawai). Masayuki Suo, who did the 1996 hit, Shall We Dance? first movie he was involved in was get ready … the Kanda River Pervert War . The Pervert War was also one of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s first movies. Kurosawa went on to become a horror legend in Japan. Ahhh Japan how I love thee.

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