When suicide hotline counselor Rinko (Asuka Kurosawa) receives explicit photos of herself from a mysterious caller, she is thrown into a depraved game of hidden fantasies and unrestrained sexual desire. As the voyeuristic stalker becomes determined to alter her passionless life, Rinko’s compulsively clean husband Shigehiko (Yuji Koutari) attempts to hunt him down and the three disillusioned soul’s paths will inevitably intertwine.
Tsukamoto’s visual style is unmistakably daring and A Snake of June is no exception. Bathed in blue to suggest the unrelenting presence of water, the images created are painstakingly crafted and unforgettably bizarre. Close-ups of snails, drains, and circular windows mix with frantic shots of action and nightmarishly surreal dreams pepper reality. Far more linear than some of Tsukamoto’s previous efforts, there’s still plenty of hallucinatory imagery to comprehend, most memorably the sex show dream sequence accenting the themes of voyeurism and the contrast of viewing the organic through circles. Frenetic editing and dizzying camera-work also strive to keep this thriller from ever slowing down, and even during extended single shots on a stationary subject, the camera refuses to stay put, heightening the sense of voyeurism and paranoia. Even in the chapter breaks, Tsukamoto’s maddeningly creative artistry is at work as curious symbols denote the passing of time and the gradual joining of figures.
To match the delirious visuals is a fantastically diverse array of sound effects and music from composer Chu Ishikawa. Unending rain echoes in every scene and foreboding strings alternate the mood from morose to morbid, yet there’s always a calming satisfaction from the violins. Percussive tribalistic music heavy with the sounds of clanging metal enhances the tense scenes of violence and operatic tones waft through the more surrealistic segments.
With disturbing imagery reminiscent of David Lynch’s Eraserhead (but with more meaningful parallels and less unexplained randomness), A Snake of June is a brilliant examination of voyeurism, buried desires, and suppressed passion through the looking glass of a twisted genius. Tsukamoto again proves he is the master of the sadistically surreal and has long since passed his American counterparts in both style and presentation.
1.37GB | 01h 16m | 768×576 | mkv