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The Strange Saga of Hiroshi the Freeloading Sex Machine  (Himo no Hiroshi, 2005)
Yoshioka Mutsuo, Hirasawa Rinako, Sano Kazuhiro
Dir. Tajiri Yuji

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Me and a friend caught this film on a whim because he had a rare Saturday evening off from work and wanted to watch something — ANYTHING — at this fall’s Hawaii International Film Festival which had just started earlier in the week.  The HIFF has been a mainstay since the early 1980s and I’ve seen a lot of quality cinema since its inception.

However we hadn’t gotten any tickets in advance and decided to chance getting into this particular movie on stand-by since: 1) it was the very last movie of the evening, and 2) that English title was too good to resist.

Well, the film was only a little over 60 minutes and the projector inexplicably went dead in the final moments of the movie, leaving me with a state of aesthetic coitus interruptus.  The movie, however, WAS good fun.  Depicting carnal knowledge in a humorous light is still in the capable hands of Japanese filmmakers, mainstream (e.g. Itami Juzo) or otherwise.  

The story is grounded in the challenging sport of cricket sumo, combined with a lot of bouncing nekkid bodies and some perspective of a single mother and child.  Hirasawa (whom I later discovered to be an AV actress of some substance) handles the nudity and sex scenes with confidence but also shows an appealing vulnerability in other moments.  Yoshioka looks like one of the guys in London Boots and seems to have mastered the art of making funny faces during sex.

Not for those who are prudish or find offense in the depiction of casual sex onscreen.  Catch it if you so dare at a film festival near you.

*** (out of ****).

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