Friday, April 25, 2014

Sean Kelly

Hot Docs 2014: Love Hotel


Throughout Japan, there are over 37,000 love hotels, where couples can find an escape from the realities of the outside world.  Love Hotel follows the staff and patrons of the Angelo Love Hotel in Osaka.  The clientele of the hotel include a middle aged couple trying reignite their passions, a dominatrix pleasuring S&M clients, and a pair of homosexual lawyers, looking for a private place to be intimate.  In recent years, the “entertainment laws” of Japan have resulted in more restrictive rules for love hotels, which is endangering the future of these private getaways.

Love hotels have existed in Japan since medieval times, as a response to how it’s culturally unacceptable for Japanese people to express their desires in public.  With it being difficult to become intimate at home, over 2.8 million Japanese people from all walks of life visit love hotels as an escape from their lives.  Going to these hotels are like taking a trip and are often much more than merely a place to have sex.

In today’s age, love hotels are endangered by the conservative Japanese society that necessitated their creation in the first place.  New entertainment laws are passed, which requires hotels to completely remove their more risqué elements, in danger of being shut down.  Love Hotel is a quite interesting look at a unique aspect of Japanese culture, which now seems destined to disappear.  However, despite all the changes happening to love hotels, the people in Japan will continue to find an escape from their lives.



  • Sat, April 26, 6:00 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
  • Mon, April 28, 6:30 PM – ROM Theatre
  • Sat, May 3, 6:00 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 3

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).