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A Snake of June (2002)
"Rokugatsu no hebi" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |  13 June 2003 (UK)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,850 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 60 critic

A man and woman fall into an erotic nightmare when they are stalked by a disturbed man.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Asuka Kurosawa ...
Rinko Tatsumi
Yûji Kôtari ...
Shigehiko (as Yuji Koutari)
...
Iguchi
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yukino Asai
Hira Dezu
Kôichi Fujita
Takehiro Fukuhara
Tomoya Fukumoto
Mansaku Fuwa
Teruko Hanahara
Kiyoto Harada
Daisuke Hatori
Noboru Inoue
Tarô Iwate
Shinji Kai
Edit

Storyline

Rinku is a suicide-prevention counselor, living with her husband Shigehiko. He's older than she, scrubbing things constantly, sexually indifferent. They sleep apart. During Tokyo's rainy season, Iguchi, a photographer Rinku has counseled by phone, sends her pictures he has taken through her skylight: she's wearing a short skirt, masturbating. He offers her the negatives if she'll follow his instructions. She's humiliated and agrees. He tells her he's only giving her license to express her inner desires. He sends her into the night to walk on the wild side. Then, she asks a favor of him, and soon her husband receives phone calls and photographs. Where will this triangle lead? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Issho ni, jigoku ni ikimashô


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, nudity and some violence | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

13 June 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Snake of June  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Masterly cinema but subject matter and style that will repel many
16 June 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

For serious film acolytes only, or others who like to have their brains twisted into a heap. Don't be tempted by the flagrant advertising of kinky erotica and gratuitous violence unless you are prepared to endure a plot that would have Kubrick and Lynch scrabbling for a storyline that makes sense, images that make your nerves cringe like knifeblades squealing on glass, and an evocation of politically incorrect emotions that would allow a psychiatrist to put you in the same wing as Jack the Ripper.

From the man who brought you Tetsuo <cue references that put your cult film fan status under the blue light detector>, which was the story about a man who becomes part-metal and unleashes his transformation in a grotesque, unambiguously sexually symbolic, and very violent way, comes this latest release by someone many will hate to admit is a director of very considerable talent. Making you wonder what is acceptable in art for art's sake, Director Shinya Tsukamoto has no shortage of material to help you push the limits, and he takes lead roles in his own films as well as those of others. Recently he starred in Ichi the Killer, a film that divided critics with it's apparently 'pointless' violence - but the artistry was in making the film as an exact copy of a 'manga' cartoon, right down to the extensively faithful bloodletting and chopped up body parts. OK, you get the picture of the sort of weird world Tsukamoto works with . ..

So what about Snake of June? Firstly the 'story' (I won't tell you enough to spoil it, but skip this para if you like to be shocked without much prior warning haha). Rinko, a woman who works as a bored and frustrated telephone cousellor - a sort of Samaritans line - is blackmailed by a former caller. She 'helped him into wanting to live' and now he is going to 'help' her to release her inhibitions and become 'the person she really is'. The blackmailer has pictures of her masturbating and in exchange for the negatives forces her to do various acts, like wearing a mini-skirt in public with no knickers, and on to various things with vibrators and buying vegetables. Her balding husband, with whom our initial sympathies lie, shows a sexist selfishness when Rinko needs an operation. Meanwhile the blackmailer, as all blackmailers do, takes things further but not perhaps in the way you might expect.

On the plus side, Snake in June, like Tetsuo, carries some of the most powerfully shot images of modern cinema. In classic blue-tinted monochrome, each frame is composed with the skill of an auteur. The haunting sets of rain-sodden alleyways, first rate acting, ingenious story chapters, and perhaps the challenging way in which our sympathies are reversed, all raise it above the level of fantasy porn. On the downside, many will find the style and storyline inaccessible or unbearable (although most males and some females may find the shockingly convincing erotic scenes worth the ordeal). You'll never forget the rain. You'll never forget the face of Rinko in orgasm. But will it be a memory you'll linger over?

I'm giving this film 8/10 because for serious film goers it perhaps offers a thought provoking example in an unusual genre, and expertly made. But it also contains much that some people will wish they had never seen, and much that will cause some people to walk out rather than endure the whole 77 minutes.


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