Monday, January 23, 2012

Rain Washed: Tsukamoto's A Snake Of June Brought This On..

Feeling like a hostage in my own domicile as the rain continues to pound the Long Beach area with the now expected fervor, and unwelcome cold. When the east coast gets this, the become snowed in, for us, we just grin, bear it, not to mention bear a fearful populace doing their thing while driving. And yet on another level, such a troublesome downpour can also have a positive, almost healing effect. Those who know me, also know that I am a bit of an ambient sound enthusiast, often with his own playlist of all manner of aural business going on throughout the night's dreamtime. Perhaps even inspired by things as primal as the sound of a running shower, the very notion of water, making its power known over even the most technically/socially advanced civilization.

Which is possibly why such a simple thing helps remind me of films & pieces of art that utilize the natural elements as a metaphorical part of their fabric. Having realized that Shinya Tsukamoto's 2002 excursion into sexual psychology, A Snake Of June was to be a decade old, I had to pop in my copy to re-evaluate my feelings on it, as well as to compliment the way things were sounding outside. Perhaps even more than another personal favorite, Blade Runner, Snake not only has the trademark of what makes Tsukamoto's earlier films truly surreal, it also harbors enough raw emotional honesty to make it into a compelling treatise on how we manage our daily lives within such cramped, constrained physical and emotional spaces. And the rain, coupled with the film's deliberate chromatic blue tint that gives me vibes of living in the greater Los Angeles area. We may seem to be where all the activity, technology, and progressive action takes place, but throw in something as innocuous as a torrential downpour, and everything seems primed to change with naturally calibrated speed and ferocity.

Much like a pressure valve, the rain seems to be something of a grand reminder of the things we take for granted. It serves to not only inform us of how little control we have, and reiterate what it is that truly comforts and distresses us. It's a thrill to confront that which terrifies us not only about the outside, but of our very own natures. Which heavily informs why Snake continues to be a favorite. Much more than a treatise on Japanese repression, it is also a nature-borne poem that is all in service of the things we know we want, but fear having. 

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