Legendary Japanese director Wakamatsu Koji has died, it is being reported, after succumbing to injuries sustained last Friday, when he was hit by a taxi in Tokyo. The 76-year-old filmmaker, oft-compared to French New Wave pioneer Jean Luc Godard, had over 100 films to his credit, with his latest, The Millennial Rapture, having just premiered at the Venice International Film Festival last month, and 11.25: The Day Mishima Chose His Fate set to play the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival in November.
Wakamatsu made a name for himself in the 1960s and 70s, as a driving force of the pinku-eiga softcore porn industry. Titles such as Go Go Second Time Virgin (1969) and Ecstasy of the Angels (1972) are widely revered as classics of the genre. In later years, Wakamatsu’s films turned more political, but he also achieved more widespread critical acclaim.Recent works such as 2007’s United Red Army and 2010’s Caterpillar were both received extremely well. As recently as this month, he was named Asian Filmmaker of the Year by the Busan International Film Festival.
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