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A Snake Of June [DVD] [2003]

Asuka Kurosawa , Yji Ktari , Shin'ya Tsukamoto    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 9.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Asuka Kurosawa, Yji Ktari, Shin'ya Tsukamoto, Yukino Asai, Hira Dezu
  • Directors: Shin'ya Tsukamoto
  • Writers: Shin'ya Tsukamoto
  • Producers: Shin'ya Tsukamoto, Keiko Kusakabe, Shin'ichi Kawahara
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Tartan
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Jan 2004
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00011FXH8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,102 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

During an insistent June downpour in an anonymous Japanese metropolis, a dark erotic force infiltrates the lives of Rinko, a reserved career woman in her thirties, and Shigehiko, her obsessively clean workaholic husband. Invading the most private aspects of the couple's lives, a mysterious stranger sends an anonymous envelope bearing the inscription 'Your Husband's Secrets'. Soon, mysterious phone calls follow, but the male voice does not demand money.

From the Back Cover

During an insistent June downpour in an anonymous Japanese metropolis, a dark erotic force infiltrates the lives of Rinko, a reserved career woman in her thirties, and Shigehiko, her obsessively clean work-a-holic husband. Invading the most private aspects of the couple's lives, a mysterious stranger sends an anonymous envelope bearing the inscription "Your Husband's Secrets". Inside are photographs of Rinko masturbating.

Soon, mysterious phone calls follow, but the male voice does not demand money. Instead, it demands that Rinko follows strict instructions to go out in public wearing a miniskirt and purchase a vibrator.

A deliriously perverse tale of buried sexual desires, Shinya Tsukamoto's surreal journey to the dark side of obsession is as stylish as it is totally unforgettable.

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bizzare thriller 17 Dec 2003
Snake of June is unique that set in black and white and with some unusual photography, where a woman Rinko(Asuka Kurosawa) discovers her inner desires through her blackmailer.
The husband Shigehiko(Yuji Koutari) discovers his wife Rinko(Asuka Kurosawa) maybe leading a double life, so Shigehiko becomes a suspicious man that wants to observe her. It’s a classic set-up of film noir, but strange with many mysterious settings.
Rinko initially a repressed, woman with no hope, becomes slowly sexually reawakened after Iguchi forcibly encourages her to live out her secret fantasies. Iguchi her ‘knight’ helps her to have a satisfying sex life. The therapy starts to work, it becomes electric and soon things start to change for Rinko and Shigehiko. The mood changes and Shigehiko does not know what to do and becomes feable, Iguchi realises that he has the opportunity to take control of Rinko and uses her like 'meat'.
Snake of June is a erotic thriller about control as well as self-control. While it may thrill certain audiences, the inner sanctum shows a hidden message of passion, desire and voyeurism not seen in many modern films. However, the realism of the film can be defined as extreme and maybe disturbing to those that have never seen such scenes.
For those with an appetite that want to understand 'voyeurism' it is a essential to see this film.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING 16 Jan 2006
this film is my favourite film ever. Like most Japanese films this is quite confusing and might take a few viewings to actually understand what's happening. This shouldn't put you off though as it is a fascinating and compelling film. I must warn people that it does contain strong scenese of a sexual nature and if you are uncomfortable with this you should approach with caution. My friends refer to it as "japanese porn" which it totally isn't. It is an artistic journey into hidden desires and voyeurism. An amazing, beautiful, compelling thriller with a fantastic musical score. This IS for fans of the Japanese cinema.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just my cup of Gyokuro! 27 July 2010
By numpty
A visually stunning film from the director of 'Tetsuo: The Iron Man' & 'Bullet Ballet'. Described as an erotic thriller; but you wouldn't really want to identify with any of the characters! Odd!

I love Japanese (arthouse?) films as I'm always aware of a cultural distance, that adds another layer to interpret. What are they up to now? What meaning is intended? If any at all? etc.. etc..

A good surreal (reality slip?) noir, that takes constant engagement to decipher what on earth is going on.

Just my cup of Gyokuro!

Oddly Fantastic!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Snake of June (2002) is the thematic culmination of over a decade's worth of cinematic experimentation for Japanese auteur and erstwhile enfant terrible Shinya Tsukamoto; with the film's themes of fear, repression and the limitations and fragility of the human body recalling the surrealist body-mutilation of Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1988) - and his metaphoric metamorphosis into a drill-bit wielding cyber-punk - through to the modern day horror of Tokyo Fist (1995) - with its punishing images of primal carnage - and of course, Bullet Ballet (1998) - with its wasteland of urban decay and the bleak thematic examination of suicide.

With this in mind, viewing Tsukamoto's work from the visceral and vivid 'Tetsuo' through to the film in question is often like studying the basics of the auteur theory in seven easy steps; with the director progressing from the low-budget horror of The Iron Man (1988), through to it's bigger-budgeted sequel/remake Tetsuo II: Body Hammer (1991) and then onto the aforementioned double-punch of Tokyo Fist (1995) and Bullet Ballet (1998). That's not to mention his lush period-mystery Gemini (1999) and his more recent examination of death and decay with the subtle and mature Vital (2004). Each of these films presents its own treatise on a clearly defined theme, which, when viewed within the larger context of Tsukamoto's world presents us with a true, single-minded and intensely unique body of work. This is represented, not only by the repeated use of death, decay, metamorphosis and the human body as a central motif, but also by the presence of Tsukamoto as writer, director, cinematographer, editor, production designer and, in many cases, lead actor; but also with the vital role in which Tokyo itself plays in shaping his highly expressive narratives.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Snake of June Movie Review 28 Nov 2007
By thejoelmeister - Published on
Just as twistedly brilliant as Tetsuo, though slightly less hyperkinetic, Tsukamoto's A Snake of June explores similar themes of repressed sexuality and contrasting worlds, but with a far more linear plotline. Though metallic phallus imagery and psychosexual encounters do make an appearance.

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 camerawork 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.

- Joel Massie
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars explore your inner dark side... 27 Dec 2006
By Artos - Published on
alot of people have expressed dissatisfaction for this film, i feel maybe its because the people compare this to his other works a little too rash, but maybe not. shinya tsukamoto is one of of my top favorite directors & i found this film to be quite a pleasureable film experience (though often throughout the film you cant tell whether the characters pleasure or disquietude; i think thats what i enjoyed the most). the cinematography is bliss; a grand blue tinted b/w & plenty of rain to fit the mood. i enjoyed the three central characters as well, finding tsukamoto's character, iguchi, to be my favorite. perhaps because he is the most complex character throughout the film. sure, his "personal & devestating" secret is revealed towards the film's conclusion, but even that aside, you never really pick up upon what is really driving his behavior and actions towards tatsumi. a logical person would maybe identify a sense of sadomasochism, but i like to think deeper than that, almost as if through this "sadism" he is freeing her from a life she thinks she wants, but in her heart, knows she doesnt.

i think maybe viewers were approaching this one more logically because it was less abstract than, say the tetsuo films, or even vital. it focused more on what could be a realistic situation and often a cliche in mystery films(the married couple who's life is shattered by a voyeaur's constant prowl/spy)which did not end like a cliche mystery would, but then again, tsukamoto never really presents this film as a mystery, to me it seems more like a symblism used through urban lore about someone who has lost hope in himself and attempted to, in his own point of view, try and restore hope to the person who helped him find his again, or so it may seem...

i honestly find it hard(& innapropriate) to summarize snake of june or any of tsukamoto's films like an elementary schoolkid would on some book report, so all i can say is that though this is not a good place to start in viewing tsukamoto's films, it is a still a worthy watch, especially if you are already a fan of tsukamoto, or are just open to watching something completly different.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The movie that should make Shinya Tsukamoto famous in America. 16 Oct 2006
By Robert Beveridge - Published on
A Snake of June (Shinya Tsukamoto, 2002)

There are those, and they are legion, who find those of us who contend that the Japanese simply make better movies overall than the Americans these days are just some sort of film snobs with a fetish for foreignness. I would answer that those people should, as just one example of what I'm talking about, take A Snake of June and hold it up against any American sexual psychodrama of the past twenty years (and, come to think of it, the only one I can really find to compare it to is Jane Campion's woefully terrible In the Cut). The simple fact of the matter is that Americans, whether it be filmmakers themselves or the studios who distribute the films, simply aren't capable of coming up with stuff like this. It's just not in our nature or something.

The tale follows Iguchi (Shinya Tsukamoto), who begins as a suicidal photographer. He calls a suicide hotline and is talked out of killing himself by Rinko (Asuka Kurosawa). He grows obsessed with her and her husband Shigehiko (Yuji Kohtari) and begins stalking them, setting in motion events that will take all three on journeys of self-revelation.

That's a woefully incomplete synopsis, but little revelations (such as why Iguchi was suicidal in the first place, and how he makes his presence known to Rinko) pop up sporadically throughout the film that ripple into the greater revelations, and so pretty much everything in the film after the first ten minutes or so is a spoiler. All I can do is say "trust me, the plot's taken care of." And it's a fine plot, if a bit impressionist (this should be no surprise to those who are already familiar with Tsukamoto's work). The actors are very good at what they do, and all the other technical details are nicely done. But what makes this film so compelling is, of course, Shinya Tsukamoto's vision, both literally and figuratively. Figuratively because it's hard to imagine, here in America, that films can still be this deliciously shocking; literally because Kaijyu Theater films have a certain look to them. Shinya Tsukamoto has gotten away from the biotechnological obsessions of his earlier films, but he has retained much of the visual style that made Tetsuo such a nightmarish experience; years of practice, of course, have honed it somewhat, and toning down the subject matter brings the visual style a bit more into focus. It's a kind of blend of the Hong Kong martial arts flick and Polanski's Knife in the Water, if that makes any sense.

This is very, very good stuff, and well worth tracking down. ****
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as strong as it should have been 19 Jun 2005
By LGwriter - Published on
One of the great things about A Snake of June is the use of the blue lens/filter through which this black and white film was shot. As the cinematographer explains in one of the two excellent extra featurettes that come with the DVD, the blue was used to give the feeling of water. June is the rainy month in Japan and just like in the film Seven, it rains throughout the entire film.

The combination of the blue tint/tinge, the rain, and the growing eroticism should have resulted in a building of intensity, which did take place in Tsukamoto (the director)'s films Iron Man and Body Hammer. But the problem in A Snake of June is that once a certain degree of intensity is reached, there is not much more that can be done. So the film, while not floundering, does not really leave the viewer satisfied, so to speak, once about the midpoint has come and gone.

Even though Rinko, the female protagonist, does become sexier past that midpoint mark, the intensity that is piled on--among other things, using a surreal peep show that kind of bursts into view out of the blue (so to speak)--does not really add anything. In fact, the peep show and the appearance of an appendage that definitely recalls Iron Man seem much more forced and tacked on here than similar events do in either Iron Man or Body Hammer (the Iron Man sequel).

Tsukamoto himself has a leading role in this film; he's the stalker that galvanizes the action, the catalyst that transforms Rinko from a shy social worker into a walking object of pleasure. Her husband sleeps on a couch, typically, and this for a woman can be frustrating, just like it would for a man if his wife did the same thing.

It would have been a much better film if there had been a stronger emphasis on Rinko's psychology. In Iron Man and Body Hammer, there was no need to focus on these internal elements because the external ones of flesh becoming metal were so bizarre that there was no need for an internal focus. But in A Snake of June, Tsukamoto turns his intent and attention inward, or tries to, but he doesn't go far enough.

This should have been a much better film that it is.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Constructing the Correct Shape and calling them Two Lives 1 Aug 2010
By TorridlyBoredShopper - Published on
Behind a flood of oddity and images, we see a woman that desperately longs to find herself. She has become something of an invisible persona, after all, living with a husband that does not notice her any more. Along with that, she also has something that is doing something to her, making her wonder if there really is beauty left inside her or not. This leads her to do things, more and more on the voyeuristic side of the fence, with someone leading her to push things even further. Then her husband finds some push and, amidst everything, the changes begin to take root.

When I first saw A Snake of June, I did not know what to think of it. It had a lot of visuals and a lot of expressions hidden inside of it, but the main themes were also really compelling. Here you have a family that has become a routine and a routine alone, and this seems to sit with the wife in a bad way. The husband seems to find himself needing more as well, and this brings about something that starts a transition. The transition is sexual, deviant, and embarassingly enjoyable to watch, not to mention strange in a not-so-subtle way.
Add this to the great acting and the idea behind it all and you have a grand thing that is easily missed.

Should you get this? Depends on your idea of good cinema. You like nudity and you like torment as well? Then you will enjoy this. It isn't a bad thing in either way, just a thing that has a place in the film.
Watching it, I was happy with the placement of all the angles taken, knowing that a circle cannot be made if the corners are not shaped correctly.
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