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Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974

Posted by martinteller on September 24, 2011

I was fascinated by Kazuo Hara’s The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On, so I thought I’d try one of his earlier documentaries.  In this one, he follows his ex-girlfriend Miyuki Takeda and their child to Okinawa where she bounces from a lesbian relationship to an interracial hetero relationship to a self-run day care facility and back to the mainland where she gives birth without medical assistance.  Although Takeda is a fiercely independent, modernized woman and her relationship to the filmmaker provides some tense and compelling material, ultimately she’s not nearly as engaging a subject as Okuzaki from Naked Army.  The most revealing aspects come from the interactions between Hara and Takeda, especially when he brings his new girlfriend into the picture!  I also found the scenes of Takeda arguing with her nearly-silent girlfriend very interesting.  However, there’s a lot of “downtime” without much that’s very compelling.  The film is also plagued with technical problems… out-of-sync sound, a noisy camera, and the entire lengthy birth scene is out of focus (which Hara rightfully excuses because of his emotional state).  This film might make a good companion piece to Sherman’s March, although McElwee does a lot more to keep momentum going.  Rating: Fair

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