Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 3rd, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 1972
Director: Tatsumi Kumashiro
Writers: Tatsumi Kumashiro
Cast: Sayuri Ichijo, Hiroko Isayama, Kazuko Shirakawa, Gô Awazu, Akira Takahashi, Moeko Ezawa, Shoichi Ozawa
DVD released: March 23rd, 2010
Approximate running time: 69 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Japanese
DVD Release: Kimstim
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: A jealous and ambitious stripper named Harumi, who is determined to become the most famous stripper working in Osaka. Standing in her way is a young woman named Sayuri Ichijo. Who’s rejection of Harumi’s offer of friendship proves to the be the breaking point that pushes Harumi over the edge.
Sayuri Ichijo: Following Desire was written and directed by Tatsumi Kumashiro, who’s other notable Roman Porno’s include Twisted Path of Love, Yakuza Justice: Erotic Code of Honor, Woods Are Wet: Woman Hell, Street of Joy, The Woman with Red Hair and The World of Geisha. The cinematographer on Sayuri Ichijo: Following Desire was Shinsaku Himeda a frequent collaborator of Tatsumi Kumashiro. Some of his other notable credits as a cinematographer include Pigs and Battleships, Intentions of Murder, The Pornographers and Vengeance Is Mine. Some alternative titles that this film has been released under include Wet Lust and Wet Desire.
“This is a work of fiction. It was inspired by the life of Sayuri Ichijo, the queen of strippers.” This quote that opens the film’s and casting a real life stripper named Sayuri Ichijo to portray herself. Suggests that what is about to unfold is based on actual events. The film’s premise about revivals working in the same industry has been the foundation of countless other films. With the most notable one to feature this premise being All About Eve.
In between the moments where Harumi is devising ways to remove Sayuri Ichijo, from her throne. The film does a good balancing erotic related moments with the more melodramatic moments which propel the action forward. As per Japanese censorship that was commonplace when this film was made. There are devices used to obstruct the naughtier bits. It is also kind of appropriate that the audience members who are watching the live erotic shows in the film are given a front row seat at the strippers most intimate areas. While the viewers are kept at bay via censorship.
The one area where this film excels the most is the performances from its two lead actresses Sayuri Ichijo and Hiroko Isayama in the role of Harumi. Hiroko Isayama would go onto to win Kinema Junpo Award for her performance in this film. Ultimately Sayuri Ichijo: Following Desire is one of better examples of a Roman Porno that manages to retain its artistic ambitions. Without ever sacrificing any of the core erotic elements which are integral to this genre of films.
Sayuri Ichijo: Following Desire is presented in a anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original 2.35:1 scope aspect ratio. Colors and flesh tones look accurate. Black levels fare well and details generally look crisp. There are no problems with compression or combing and edge enhancement is kept in check.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in Japanese. The audio is in good shape as there are no problems with distortion and everything sounds balanced. Removable English subtitles that are error free and east to follow have been included.
Extras for this release are limited to a trailer for the film (2 minutes 12 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Japanese, no English subtitles). Overall Sayuri Ichijo: Following Desire gets a strong audio / video presentation Kimstim that is stands out as one of their better Nikkatsu Roman Porno DVD releases to date.