Female Teacher: Dirty Afternoon (1981)
Director: Kichitaro Negishi
Writers: Yuki Kazamatsuri, Ayako Ohta, and Hiroko Fuji.
Starring: Yuki Kazamatsuri, Ayako Ohta, Hiroko Fuji, and Tatsuya Hamaguchi.

The Plot: Yuki (Sakiko Kurata) is a young woman living in the big city and working as a school teacher. She hasn’t always been in this situation though, as she used to be a teacher in a small mining town called Akita. It was during this era of her life where she first met young Sueko. Unfortunately, it was also during this period where something awful happened to her, and since then she has tried to put it behind her. Living now in the big city of Tokyo, Yuki is surprised one day to hear from Sueko. It seems that Sueko has been busted for prostitution, among other charges. Sueko is a free-wheeling young woman who does what she wants, and as this young girl comes into her life, Yuki is reminded of the dark times she had in Akita. It was in Akita where she was attacked by a masked assailant, and the man she blamed for the crime also happened to be Sueko’s father. As it turns out, Sueko’s father may not have been the guilty party after all.

The Review
Sometimes, within the world of Roman Porno (short story: a genre of erotic movies, called romantic porno, made by the Nikkatsu studio), we find films that completely defy our expectations. These are movies that an audience member may walk into expecting very little, but ultimately walk away having had an experience unlike any other. These films often have the ability to take taboo subject matter and actually give voice to ideas and opinions that are rarely dissected or discussed in cimema. Unfortunately, not all movies fall into this mold. Sometimes, these movies shoot for such lofty goals, but, for whatever reason, they do not achieve them. Something doesn’t click within these movies, and the parts simply do not sit together as well as they should. Sure, we can see the filmmaker’s intention, but the content does not turn out the way that it was planned. This is the case for Female Teacher: Dirty Afternoon. It is a movie that could have been sleazy or it could have been insightful, but ultimately it turned out a bit too ponderous and meandering to be described with either adjective.

While Female Teacher: Dirty Afternoon isn’t one of the greats, it does have some positive attributes to offer. For example, there’s a decent amount going on in the film regarding sexual relations. Our main protagonist may have wrongly accused someone of her rape in the past, and this action has completely destroyed another family. This is something that she had never even contemplated up until this moment in her life, and when all of this comes rushing back to her, the memories of her attack dominate her life once again. Memories and guilt become dominate themes, bringing out this terrible moment from her past and forcing her to talk about it with her current boyfriend, but their relationship is shown to be a bit more complex than the average. Her man doesn’t seem to truly care about her worries, as he only sees their relationship as being something physical. Her relationship is a sad one, and these “purely” physical relationships that she, as well as the damaged young woman from the plot synopsis, has been having, they only reflect their inability to confront past issues. Although the relationships found in the movie are not exceedingly detailed, they are played out in interesting ways. The subtlety and hints at larger and more grandiose themes are usually where the movie manages to shine the most.

Female Teacher: Dirty Afternoon does have its own unique place in cinematic history, that is for sure. The movie is helmed by Nikkatsu veteran Kichitaro Negishi, who directed Wet Weekend (1979) amongst other notable features. The movie itself is also part of a long line of “Female Teacher” movies, a series that began in 1973 with legendary director Masaru Konuma’s Female Teacher: Delicious Life. The films, as you might expect, have nothing to do with each other and instead solely focus on the sexual lives of teachers and often their students. Odd enough, this film has very little in it to remind you of its gimmick. There are a few references to the Yuki character being a teacher, but the film never takes us inside of the classroom and instead focuses on her life outside of work. This, you would think, might make the movie all the more interesting, but it isn’t a title that thinks far outside of the box. Although there is a decent amount of “action” within the movie, the film starts to feel rather labored in its pacing. The interesting moments are spaced too far apart, the character of Yuki doesn’t have a home life that truly grabs the audience’s attention, and ultimately the project seems to stutter between the various sex scenes.

The sex scenes, usually the “selling point” for any piece of erotica, are far from trashy, but they aren’t exactly stylized either. Most are of a very routine nature. The best moment from the scenes comes when young Sueko seduces a salaryman on the street and offers him sex with no-strings-attached. The scene is humorous in the fact that we see this gentleman go from trying to charm the young woman, to being pushy and annoying once “sex” is actually put on the table. The scene seems to capture a great deal of honesty in regards to the “hunt” that many men consider themselves to be on, and the sequence ultimately opens young Sueko’s eyes a little about the reality of sex and its place within the social continuum. However, this is just a broad piece of the puzzle and not reflective of the overall quality of the movie. Most of the sex in the movie offers very little in terms of subtext and is usually a bit monotonous. This Sueko scene is not enough to save the film, and the general pacing and lack of engaging style/characterization is a real problem for the movie. While production value is high, and the filmmakers apparently had very lofty goals for their movie, it doesn’t have much that might make audiences take notice.

The Conclusion
While Female Teacher: Dirty Afternoon is far from terrible, it is equally far from being great. It’s worth owning, due to it being part of the Synapse/Impulse Nikkatsu Roman Porno collection, but it isn’t the first movie that I would recommend from their awesome catalog. Overall, this one scores a two out of five.