A Snake Of June

Kinky voyeurism and body horror rule

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Japanese career-woman Rinko and her obsessive-compulsive husband are in a neatly ordered but sexually repressed marriage. Their relationship is thrown off kilter when she receives an envelope containing photos of herself masturbating. Terrified her husband will find out, Rinko is caught squirming in a kinky trap. And the ‘fun’ really starts when she decides she has no option but to follow the instructions from a mystery blackmailer to undertake repeat performances in a series of public arenas.

Filmed in monochrome, this erotic drama from director Shinya Tsukamoto features a striking performance by Asuka Kurosawa as Rinko, who undergoes a voyage of humiliation and self-discovery. There are moments of odd beauty, but the sub-Cronenberg theme itself is laboured, and the introduction of breast cancer as a metaphor for spiritual decay in a stagnating consumer society is cumbersome. Not half as challenging as Tsukamoto seems to think it is.


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The Velvet Underground, The Black Crowes, Bunny Wailer, Richard Thompson, Nick Cave, Rhiannon Giddens, Laurie Anderson, Blake Mills, Postcard Records, Mogwai and The Selecter