January 1, 1954 |
Fukushima Prefecture, Japan
Hiroki is one of several Japanese film directors who got their start in the Japanese softcore pornographic film genre of pink film. He said in an interview that in the late 1970s when he wanted to get into directing, he wrote a script for a pink film and brought it to the ŌKura Eiga studio but they told him he needed to start as an assistant director. At this time he met prolific pink film director Genji Nakamura and during the next three years, Hiroki worked as an assistant director, editor, and manager for Nakamura's company Yū Pro. Hiroki made his first film as a director with Sexual Abuse! Exposed Woman (性虐！女を暴く Seigyaku! Onna o abaku?) for Million Film in 1982. His debut met with poor reviews and was "terrible" according to Hiroki and he went back to being an assistant director for a time.
Hiroki's next excursion into directing, beginning in November 1983, was more successful, a trio of homoerotic pink films for ENK, a new company with links to Nikkatsu, which specialized in gay pink film. Our Season (ぼくらの季節 Bokura no kisetsu?), Our Generation (ぼくらの時代 Bokura no jidai?) and Our Moment (ぼくらの瞬間 Bokura no shunkan?) were frank depictions of the tribulations of gay couples in 1980s Japan. All three films starred veteran pink film actor Tōru Nakane and Our Season, considered the best of the trio by the pink film historians Thomas and Yuko Weisser, had a screenplay by future director Rokurō Mochizuki.
The Weissers dub Hiroki "the prince of youth porn" for his 1984 film produced by Yū Pro and distributed by Nikkatsu, Teacher, Don't Turn Me On! (先生、私の体に火をつけないで Sensei, watashi no karada ni hi o tsukenaide?), once again scripted by Rokurō Mochizuki and featuring Tōru Nakane as the college-age tutor of a high-school girl. His most notorious works for Nakamura's Yū Pro were a series of brutal S&M movies directed under the pseudonym Gō Ijūin (伊集院剛), which was also sometimes used by scriptwriter Hitoshi Ishikawa and Nakamura himself. According to Hiroki, using a pseudonym gave him greater freedom to describe S&M relationships in a new way. The Gō Ijūin films directed by Hiroki were the 1984 The SM, distributed by Million Film, The Sexual Abuse (ザ・折檻 Ze Sekkan?) from February 1985 and The Sacrifice (ザ・生贄 Ze ikenie?) from February 1986, with the latter two films being released by Nikkatsu.
Also in 1986, Nikkatsu released Hiroki's creative but bizarrely titled Yū Pro production SM Class: Accidental Urination (ＳＭ教室 失禁 SM Kyōshitsu: Shikkin?) promoted as "New wave S&M with a sense of humor". In October 1987, Hiroki directed pioneering AV Idol Hitomi Kobayashi in the pink film The True Self of Hitomi Kobayashi (小林ひとみの本性 Kobayashi Hitomi no honshō?) released by Million Film and the next year supervised anther early AV actress Eri Kikuchi in Eri Kikuchi: Huge Breasts (菊池エリ 巨乳責め Kikuchi Eri: Kyonyūzeme?) released by Nikkatsu in January 1988.
Hiroki also ventured into the adult video (AV) world, directing for Athena Eizou, a company founded by former pink film director Tadashi Yoyogi, with titles such as the August 1989 Vanana Baby (ヴァナナベイビー?) starring Mako Hyuga and the May 1990 video Nyū sekushī meitsu nukenukefinisshu dai kyōran (ＮＥＷセクシーメイツ ヌケヌケフィニッシュ大狂乱?).
Into mainstream film
Although Hiroki left the pink film industry in the late 1980s, he continued to make films dealing with sexuality. Hiroki has said that he never changed his film making, but his later movies were aimed at a different audience. In May 1989 Hiroki with fellow directors Masato Ishioka and Tadafumi Tomioka founded their own production company Heaven (ヘブン).
In November 1990, Hiroki directed a romance about modern young couples in Japan, A Love Affair With Sawako (さわこの恋 上手な嘘の恋愛講座 Sawako no koi: Jōzuna uso no ren'ai kōza?) for the Shochiku company. This was followed by the erotic horror V-cinema production Sadistic City (魔王街 サディスティック・シティ Maōgai: Sadisuchikku shitī?) which took the Japanese Film Section Grand Prize for a video at the Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival. Hiroki's breakthrough into mainstream film, however, came with his 1994 feature 800 Two Lap Runners which looked at teenage heterosexual and homosexual relationships against a track and field background. The film, with a screenplay by video game writer Masato Kato, opened at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 1994 before being released in Japan in July 1994. It placed number 7 on the Kinema Junpo's list of the ten best Japanese movies of 1994.
Hiroki returned to his theme of the emotional and sexual lives of young adults in modern urban Japan in his June 1996 film Midori (「物陰に足拍子」より ＭＩＤＯＲＩ "Monogatari kara ashibyōshi" yori: Midori?) about a high-school girl pretending to be ill in order to see her boyfriend. His 2000 work Tokyo Trash Baby (東京ゴミ女 Tōkyō gomi onna?) is an understated look at a lonely woman who goes through the garbage of the neighbor she is obsessed with looking for mementos. His other film in 2000 had a very different theme; the erotic comic drama I Am an S&M Writer (不貞の季節 Futei no kisetsu?), with a screenplay by Hiroki's former pink film colleague Hitoshi Ishikawa, is based on a possibly partly autobiographical novel by celebrated S&M writer Oniroku Dan.
Hiroki directed Vibrator, a film based on the novel by Mari Akasaka, starring Nao Omori and Shinobu Terajima. It was described by Tom Mes as "one of the bravest and most important films of recent years." He worked with Terajima again on the film It's Only Talk.
Style and influences
- Catch the Woman Out (1982)
- Virgin Story 4: Take Me to the Skiing (1989)
- A Love Affair with Sawako (1990)
- Sadistic City (1993)
- Evil Dream (1994)
- 800: Two Lap Runner (1994)
- Forever with You (1995)
- A Love to Melt the Snow (1996)
- Midori (1996)
- On a Brighter Day (1999)
- The Night the Angel Turned Away (1999)
- I Am an S and M Writer (2000)
- Tokyo Trash Baby (2000)
- Labyrinth of Leg Fetishism (2001)
- The Barber’s Sadness (2002)
- Vibrator (2003)
- Silent Big Man (2004)
- L'Amant (2004)
- Girlfriend: Someone Please Stop the World (2004)
- Yokan (2005)
- Female Story (2005)
- It's Only Talk (2005)
- Love on Sunday (2006)
- M (2006)
- Bakushi (2007)
- Your Friend (2008)
- New Type: Just for Your Love (2008)
- April Bride (2009)
- The Lightning Tree (2010)
- The Egoists (2011)
- River (2011)
- Kiiroi Zou (2013)
- Nobody's Perfect (2013)
- Kabukicho Love Hotel (2014)
- Cops vs Cops (2003)
- Yoshida, Kana (20 October 2010). "廣木隆一監督＆舞花 インタビュー - Oricon Style" [Interview with Ryuichi Hiroki and Maika]. Oricon Style (in Japanese).
- Schilling, Mark (16 June 2006). "Having a laugh with Ryuichi Hiroki - The Japan Times". The Japan Times.
- Jacoby, Alexander (2008). A Critical Handbook of Japanese Film Directors. Berkeley: Stone Bridge Press. pp. 46–48. ISBN 978-1-933330-53-2.
- Sharp, Jasper (2008). Behind the Pink Curtain: The Complete History of Japanese Sex Cinema. Guildford: FAB Press. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-903254-54-7.
- Sharp, p. 242-243, 344
- Weisser, Thomas; Yuko Mihara Weisser (1998). Japanese Cinema Encyclopedia: The Sex Films. Miami: Vital Books: Asian Cult Cinema Publications. p. 263. ISBN 1-889288-52-7.
- Weisser, p. 428-429
- 先生、私の体に火をつけないで (in Japanese). JMDB. Retrieved 2013-09-16.
- Weisser, p. 358, 383-385
- Weisser, p. 396
- 小林ひとみの本性 (in Japanese). JMDB. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
- 菊池エリ 巨乳責め (in Japanese). JMDB. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
- "Vanana Baby". Urabon Navigator. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
- ＮＥＷセクシーメイツ ヌケヌケフィニッシュ大狂乱 (in Japanese). www.sokomil.com. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
- Sharp, p. 207, 243
- "Interviewee / Staff" (in Japanese). www.yoyochu.com. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
- さわこの恋 上手な嘘の恋愛講座 (in Japanese). JMDB. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
- 魔王街 サディスティック・シティ (in Japanese). AllCinema. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
- "YUBARI INTERNATIONAL FANTASTIC ADVENTURE FILM FESTIVAL'93". yubarifanta.com. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
- "800 TWO LAP RUNNERS" (in Japanese). MovieWalker. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
- "Programme 1994". www.berlinale.de/en. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
- 「物陰に足拍子」より ＭＩＤＯＲＩ (in Japanese). MovieWalker. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
- Sharp, Jasper (March 20, 2001). "I Am an SM Writer". Midnight Eye. Retrieved 2013-09-23.
- Schilling, Mark (7 January 2004). "Vibrator - Review - Screen". Screen International.
- Mes, Tom (18 November 2003). "Midnight Eye review: Vibrator (Vaibureta, 2003, Ryuichi HIROKI)". Midnight Eye.
- Brown, Todd (8 April 2006). "Philly Fest Report: It's Only Talk Review - Twitch". Twitch Film.
- Matthijs, Niels (14 March 2011). "M (Ryuichi Hiroki) Review - Twitch". Twitch Film.
- Lee, Maggie (25 April 2012). "The Egoists - Variety". Variety.
- Schilling, Mark (9 March 2012). "'River' - The Japan Times". The Japan Times.
- Matthijs, Niels (August 27, 2012). "Review: KEIBETSU (Ryuichi Hiroki) - Twitch". Twitch Film.