Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It is the end of August and I feel thirsty.

So, apparently, does the mewling alleycat outside my window, but unfortunately for me, my thirst is not so easily slaked.

No passing stranger of the opposite sex can solve my hydration problem, even if they wanted to, but here this greedy cat will take all comers and get as much as she wants.

Or maybe my perspective is wrong.

Maybe satisfaction looms in the distance, tantalizingly on her radar but frustratingly never within reach. Maybe she is a tormented soul whose thirst, like mine, is bottomless. Maybe we are two of a kind.

Much like the insatiable central characters in the 1976 Japanese arthouse porno, In the Realm of the Senses, which I watched this evening in (mostly) wide-eyed surprise.

Never in my life have I seen so much penis--and I own one.

Never in my life have I seen two people engage in so much public fornication, to such blase reaction. To say the sex is gratuitous misses the point, but still--it is exhausting to watch.

Here is what Mr. Criterion has to say about the movie, for all you bumpkins out there that ain't never heard of it:

SYNOPSIS: Still censored in its own country, In the Realm of the Senses (Ai no corrida), by Japanese director Nagisa Oshima, remains one of the most controversial films of all time. A graphic portrayal of insatiable sexual desire, Oshima’s film, set in 1936 and based on a true incident, depicts a man and a woman (Tatsuya Fuji and Eiko Matsuda) consumed by a transcendent, destructive love while living in an era of ever escalating imperialism and governmental control. Less a work of pornography than of politics, In the Realm of the Senses is a brave, taboo-breaking milestone.
I wish I could agree with their pornography versus politics angle, but there was so little politics involved in this movie that I was bored stiff. Imagine saying that! I wanted more politics!

What exactly...were the politics? I saw some soldiers march past in one scene, but who knows what that's supposed to mean. What I do know is that the entire movie involves a former prostitute fellating, ravaging, and beating/strangling her master-cum-husband, whom she rapidly turns into her willing sex slave.

I'll put it this way--there is a good reason the narrator feels the need, at movie's end, to reveal the events took place in 1936, because any other movie that took place in Japan in 1936 and even hinted at politics would have found that designation superfluous.

Game, set, match. Verdict: Porno. Sorry Criterion--there was no need to salvage this one.

That being said, if you are in for an initially titillating movie that ultimately makes you never want to have sex again, this 'masterpiece' is for you. Enjoy!


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