Pinku eiga (pink films) — hourlong soft-porn flicks with simulated sex and real, fleshed-out stories — aren’t what they used to be in the 1970s and 1980s. Back then, they served as the training grounds for many of the top directors in Japan today, as well as often being more interesting and boundary-pushing than so-called straight films. The number of such productions has declined from the genre’s peak, and many of the directors still making them aren’t in the same class as their elders.
One big, talented exception is Shinji Imaoka who, working under the indulgent auspices of the Kokuei studio, has turned the pink film into his own quirky, quietly brilliant ends. His “Uncle’s Paradise (Ojisan Tengoku)” from 2006 is a surrealistic comedy about the erotic trials and triumphs of a pep-tonic addicted middle-age man and his squid-fishing nephew, climaxing in a descent to love-hotel hell, with Satan as the desk clerk.