Love Hotel

Art & Culture

First things first, I strongly urge you to only see this film in the company of people that you'll be happy to discuss the act of sexual congress with afterwards. It's a concept that many of us are aware probably exists within the UK, yet we're far too bashful to even begin to approach it. Though it may seem somewhat sordid to the uneducated individual, the concept of love hotels could be seen as romantic and simply a different approach.

However you look at it, I still giggled when the word dominatrix came onto the screen. Sorry. 

From a husband and wife looking to be creative, to a postal worker and his dominatrix, each story tells a unique, intriguing tale which gives a different perspective on these buildings made for privacy and mystery. The manager describes his customers as seeking refuge and he is indeed right to see this as an escape – the statistic raised is that 2.8 million Japanese people visit love hotels each day. Whilst this figure may be shockingly high, who amongst us wouldn't take the chance to use a spot of complete privacy and secrecy every once in a while? It's like having international waters on your doorstep.

It seems like the perfect respite from what is otherwise a rather restrictive and repressed culture, a place in which you can live out your darkest desires without any fear of judgement. It's the perfect escape from your troubles. The manager uses the phrase 'the backstage of life' to gives his thought on a love hotel, an analogy that fits all too well as we're gifted a look behind the curtain.

Each experience will broaden your horizons further and you'll be left with plenty to think about by the time the film ends. These individual insights that will have you questioning every little thing that goes on behind closed doors.

You'll almost certainly find yourself feeling strangely enraptured by a particular Japanese pensioner. But maybe that's just me.

Ciaran Steward

Love Hotel will be screened by DocHouse on 17th September at 8.30pm and will be followed by a Q&A with Directors Phil Cox and Hikaru Toda.