From one rain-soaked film to another. As with Dark Water, the torrents that rage beyond soundless, sterile interiors are indicative of a public/private, inner/outer dichotomy which seems to obsess many Japanese filmmakers. In Dark Water, the 'inner' was repressed memory, in A Snake of June, repressed sexuality.
It's not as experimental or extreme as I would have expected from Tsukamoto - the film actually has a fairly linear narrative. A couple, locked in a loveless marriage, are stalked by and drawn into the dark, fetishistic world of a slightly unhinged individual, played by Tsukamoto himself. Despite its restraint (this could easily have gone down the sleazy, exploitative route) and its almost myopic focus on the emotional responses of three characters, it's also a richly symbolic film. Naturally, the symbols are all about sex and death, but then Tsukamoto is a Surrealist at heart.
The fact the stalker/photographer is played by the director suggests that he, and by implication, the audience, are complicit in an act of voyeurism and ultimately A Snake of June is the kind of film that leaves you feeling slightly unclean. It's hard to love - I don't see myself revisiting it for quite some time - but a fascinating slice of Japanese art house nonetheless. With directors like Tsukamoto, Miike, Sono, Kitano and Sabu all consistently producing unique, thought-provoking films of the highest quality, you'd have to say contemporary Japanese cinema is in very rude health indeed.
Dir. Shinya Tsukamoto, 2002