Born in 1937 in Hokkaido, Atsushi Yamatoya studies literature at Waseda University where he joins the Inamon Circle, a scriptwriting club. Like many cinephiles of his generation, he reads the theories of Toshio Matsumoto and Kiyoteru Hanada and discovers the first films by the authors of the French and Japanese new waves. At the age of 23, he directs his first short 16mm film as part of his activities with the club. Two years later he's hired by the Nikkatsu company as an assistant director on action movies. Not too comfortable in the world of major studios, and after directing a few documentary films abroad, he joins the team of scriptwriters working under aliases for Kôji Wakamatsu, a young director of iconoclastic erotic movies.

In 1966, he directs his first feature film on his own, Season of Betrayal, while beginning to write reviews for magazines. At the time, Suzuki's outstanding personality attracts a group of young scriptwriters who come together under the name Guru Hachirô, Yamatoya being one of the co-founders and another member being Chûsei Sone, future director of some of the most formalist and political roman-pornos. In 1967, under the alias Wataru Ino, Yamatoya works on the script for Seijun Suzuki 's Branded to Kill, a decisive experience in his future career. After Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wastelands, while directing The Pistol that sprouted hair for Wakamatsu, he starts writing pinkus for other companies, notably for Toshiya Fujita, Kazunari Takeda, Yasuharu Hasebe and Chûsei Sone. A very eclectic artist, he also contributes to well-known animation series like Cat's Eyes, but also Lupin III, whose themes perfectly match his taste for unorthodox pulp themes, and of which several episodes were directed by Hayao Miyazaki. In 1973 Trapped in Lust will be his last feature film as the 80s are a turning point in his career: he will then work almost exclusively for television. Yamatoya passed away in 1993 from throat cancer. He was 55 years old. What remains is a secretive, almost indecipherable body of work. This inexhaustible scriptwriter, though not so prolific director, with only four feature films, invented a fragmentary language with illogicality as a dialectic, following the mechanics of nightmares and mind trips.

Dislocated, image and sound act as permanent counterpoints; filmic horizons paint dreams; as soon as meaning appears, it immediately fades away. Pinku, far from being the locus of servile illustration, is his experimentation territory, his laboratory. His post-modern approach of genre is always playful; he always takes pleasure in deconstructing the heroic manly figure of noir and erotic films with irony and cruelty, but without cynicism. In the bubbling cinema of an era of ideological disillusionment, he places political action not in language, but in attacks on form and in esthetical anarchy. Despite being far from mainstream, Yamatoya counts a few aficionados, one of which is an absolute fan: Jim O’Rourke from Sonic Youth who composed the score for Wakamatsu's United Red Army in 2008.

Kôya No Dacchi Waifu

Inflatable sex doll of the wastelands

(Kôya No Dacchi Waifu)
Atsushi Yamatoya

11-09-2021 14H30
13-09-2021 16H15
Uragiri No Kisetsu

Season of treason

(Uragiri No Kisetsu)
Atsushi Yamatoya

09-09-2021 15H15
17-09-2021 21H30
18-09-2021 17H30
Ke No Haeta Kenjû

The pistol that sprouted hair

(Ke No Haeta Kenjû)
Atsushi Yamatoya

13-09-2021 16H45
14-09-2021 22H15
17-09-2021 17H30
Aiyoku No Wana

Trap of lust

(Aiyoku No Wana)
Atsushi Yamatoya

17-09-2021 15H00
19-09-2021 15H45
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