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Kunsten på Kroppen
The art of tattooing

Photos of tattoos,
and presentation of:
Kai Uwe Faust
Patricia Campos
Marcus Hammer

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Please realize that videos come in a wide variety of formats. And that there is a lot of not very good amateurish videos out there. I will not attempt to list them all. Most of them are only for the few fanatics. But anyway you are welcome to send me information, if you know of any that you think should be included in the list. The list will grow!

  • "Märkt för livet" En film av Bill Watts. - Swedish video meant for TV broadcasting. Good quality film, editing and text. ca. 30 minutes. Swedish and English speaking. General presentation of tattooing in Sweden and Scandinavia. Presents people and tattooists. Among who is Erik Reime doing a hand tattooed petroglyphic from the bronze age, at the site in the woods in Sweden. See photos in Erik's portfolio!


There has been a LOT of tattoos in recent movies.

A lot of it is quite negative, though. Playing on old prejudices and misunderstandings. Like when tattoos are only associated with nasty bikers and criminals. As for Robert De Niro in Cape Fear. He depicts a psychopathic murderer just out of prison, set on revenge on his former attorney. He is filled with bad prison tattoos - and he shows them. And his tattoos are there to show what a bad character he is. I do know that prison tattoos exist! They are part of life. And part of the whole tattoo scene. But included in a film like this, it also helps keep the unknowing public believe that tattoos go with the psychopath.

Any gang movie will feature tattoos. Any heavy metal music video will feature tattoos.

There is also very good acceptance of tattooing though!

As in a film like The Bounty. With Mel Gibson as Fletcher Christian, and Antony Hopkins as Captain Bligh. This is the third major film about the famous Mutiny. A lot of the film is happening in Tahiti, and the crew receives a lot of very high quality tattoos. Fletcher Christian is even seen being tattooed in the style and technique of early Tahiti.
The Bounty can be got on Laserdisc and is a must for anyone:
Orion Home Video. Catalogue no: ID2593OR. NTSC. Widescreen. Dolby Surround. 133 minutes. 1984.

A movie like Once were Warriors tells about unreflective male abuse, of power and self esteem. Violent towards wives and children, and even fatal. It is happening among the low status Maoris of New Zealand. But the wife and her children grow out of the abuse, and finds new strength in the ancient Maori beliefs and customs. And one son gets his Maori facial tattoo as a strong statement of belonging to a culture that is good. There is a lot of tattoos in that film. Both good and bad. But they play a role!
Once were Warriors is a uniquely good film, and can be got on laserdisc:
Criterion - Fine Line Features. Catalogue no: 282. NTSC. Widescreen. Dolby Surround. 102 minutes. 1994.

A movie like The Rose Tattoo had a tattoo as an important feature.

The Illustrated Man is a screen version of Ray Bradbury's famous short story of the same name.

Irezumi (The Spirit of Tattoo) 1982
is a famous Japanese movie where the heroine gets a back piece, while the tattooist's apprentice makes love to her during the tattooing process. It is also a dramatic story of family and betrayal, and quite a fascinating film.
A lot of people has seen it on television - and remembers!
It is called Schneecristall (Snowcrystal) in German, and The Japanese Tattooed Woman (den Tatoverede Kvinde) in Danish.

Skin Art - Branded for love
Fox Video. Can be got on Laserdisc: Widescreen and Dolby Surround. 90 minutes. Rated R. Catalogue No: 4278-80. 1993
This is not exactly a fabulous mainstream movie. But the liner notes reads as follows, so you can judge for yourself:

In this mysterious, erotic thriller, an obsessive passion frees a tormented man from the dark secrets of his past.
Will (Kirk Baltz) is a brilliantly talented, but deeply tortured artist whose particular expertise has taken him into the back streets of New York City. It's here that he makes his living - tattooing newly imported Asian women smuggled in from Hong Kong by Richard (Jake Weber), a ruthless pimp who trains them for their new profession. Will's relationship to the women is sympathetic yet tightly guarded... until Lily (Nora Ariffin) arrives. Instantly, Will finds himself unable to resist this exquisite woman, an erotic creature who triggers not only his desire, but disturbing long-buried memories.
Desperately drawn to Lily, but painfully aware of her future, Will must wrestle with both his passions and his conscience for the survival of his very soul.
Unique and suspenseful, SKIN ART is as intelligent as it is provocative.

Well, what can I say? This is quite typical of a lot of the ways tattoos has been used.

You might want to check the biggest Movie Data Base on the web: for more information.

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Latest update: 10. december 2014


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