Wednesday, June 18, 2008

REC 70%: Rokugatsu no hebi [ A Snake of June - 2002]

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Regizor: Shinya Tsukamoto [Tetsuo, the Iron Man, Blind Beast vs. Killer Dwarf, Ichi the Killer, Welcome to the Quiet Room]

This 2002 film from acclaimed Japanese cyber-punk director Shinya Tsumamoto takes a decidedly different direction in story-telling than his previous works. Rinko (Asuka Kurosawa) is a telephone suicide counselor who prides herself on saving lives on a daily basis. Her husband (Yuji Kohtari) is distant and a workaholic. A photographer (Shinya Tsumamoto) decides he wants to pay Rinko back for saving his life by making her “do what she really wants,” blackmailing her with explicit pictures in order to help her achieve the life she tells others to achieve over the phone.

The film is shot with a grainy blue filter and includes captivating imagery of a bleak urban Japan. Sexually-charged and at times bizarre, “A Snake of June” is nevertheless one of the more accessible of Tsumamoto’s films and a must-see for any fans of modern Japanese cinema.

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