Third Window Films Release A Snake of June on September 28th

Third Window Films continues to do justice to the back-catalogue of director Shinya Tsukamoto by picking up and releasing one of his most critically acclaimed and internationally known works, A Snake of June.

This film is a psycho-sexual thriller that continues his experimentation with subject and method and daringness in shooting style by placing the rather excellent and underused actor Asuka Kurosawa in the middle of a visceral tale of sexual repression and release. With its monochromatic colours and humid rainy season atmosphere it becomes rather steamy but retains a rather dread-inducing atmosphere thanks to Tsukamoto’s editing and shot composition which becomes rather surreal.

It’s emotionally stirring stuff with complex performances to match the complex script and direction. You can read more of what I thought in a review of a version released by Tartan that I wrote back in 2012 as part of my Shinya Tsukamoto season. You can check out the director review archives for reviews from other directors who are contemporaries of Tsukamoto.

Here are the details of the newer and updated DVD release coming from Third Window Films:

A SNAKE OF JUNE

A Snake of June Blu-ray Case

Directed by Shinya Tsukamoto (Tetsuo: The Iron Man, Tokyo Fist)

One of the most talked-about Japanese cult films of all time makes its way onto blu-ray for the first time EVER with a brand new high definition transfer supervised by Shinya Tsukamoto!

A Snake of June Asuka Kurosawa
Japan / 2002 / 77 Mins / In Japanese with English subtitles / Colour

Starring: Asuka Kurosawa, Yuji Kohtari, Shinya Tsukamoto, Mansaku Fuwa, Tomorowo Taguchi, Susumu Terajima,
Out on Blu-Ray 

September 28th, 2015

Special Features
New high definition transfer of the ‘blue’ version restored from original negatives by Shinya Tsukamoto
Collectable case with slip-case cover
New interview with the Shinya Tsukamoto
New audio commentary by Tom Mes, author of ‘Iron Man: The Cinema of Shinya Tsukamoto’
New UK Trailer

Synopsis

Rinko (Asuka Kurosawa from Cold Fish) and Shigehiko (novelist Yuji Kotari) are a strange couple, whose physical mismatch (she a lithe beauty, he an overweight, balding, obsessive-compulsive neurotic) is reflected in the complete lack of intimacy between them. They connect as human beings, but they live more like friends than as lovers and lead nearly independent lives. Both seem comfortable with this coexistence, but the desires that lurk beneath its surface are brought out with the introduction of a third element into the equation. When Rinko receives a package of candid photographs of herself masturbating and the sender (played by Tsukamoto himself) contacts her with the threat of exposing them to her husband, she submits herself to the anonymous voyeur’s sexual games. If she wishes to get hold of all the negatives and prints, Rinko is to comply with a set of assignments that place her constantly on the borderline between humiliation and pleasure – the voyeur knows exactly what Rinko’s personal erotic fantasies are and makes her act them out one by one.

Venice Film Festival – WINNER – Kinematrix Film Award & San Marco Special Jury Award
SITGES – WINNER – Best Art Direction / NOMINATED – Best Film
Fantasporto Film Festival – WINNER Best Actress & Special Jury Award

4 thoughts on “Third Window Films Release A Snake of June on September 28th

  1. I have this on DVD and it was one of the first Japanese films I saw once I started to get into them. I doubt if I’ll upgrade as I haven’t watched again since then, since Tsukamotot’s style is often nightmarishly surreal for my tastes.

    Then again maybe I should re-watch it to see if I get it better than I did a decade or so ago!😛

    1. I enjoy Tsukamoto’s style. It makes the films so challenging and engaging and it brings out the best in my comprehension and perception skills. I think you can see it in the reviews I wrote for his films. When I compare some recent reviews to them I wonder if I can get that style back again.

      I will say that Vital remains my favourite film and I am so pleased I supported its UK cinema release and still have the ticket! I have memories of that one!

  2. This story set up of this one is probably a little too unnerving for me to watch.

    RE: “candid photographs of herself masturbating” used as blackmail?
    As if there is anything wrong with a lady doing that.
    Off topic again: This underscores male vs female differences. Of course male masturbation is disgusting, and is equated with excretions.We don’t need any of that.
    By contrast, Female masturbation is a beautiful thing, and the act only brings more joy into the world. Think flowers blooming in spring.
    “Everytime a pretty lady masturbates, an Angel gets his wings.”

    1. As far as masturbation goes, male or female, nobody wants to be caught doing it and it’s usually treated with a mixture of derision and shame. The film advocates a more open and healing approach rather than unhealthy repression. It’s something that wider society might take note of to facilitate a healthier debate surrounding sex instead of attaching shame and sin to it.

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