ASIAN VALUES DVD REVIEW
Kenji (Yuichi Ishikawa) comes across several dead bodies in a
road tunnel. As he stops to take a look, he is overcome by poisonous
gas and, as he lays dying, he poses the first of several philosophical
questions: "Which is longer, the time before or after death?"
to "The Time After His Death" and viewers meet Haruma (Yumeka
Saski), Kenji's former girlfriend who is now a prostitute. She
comes across a man in a bunny suit and takes him home for some
kinky sex. First she does a slow dance in front of him, caressing
her own body. He then tells her to masturbate. It appears that
the man has a hard time coming, and not even with Haruma sticking
her fingers up his ass or when she's licking his ass can satisfy
him. After the sex (or whatever that's left of it), the man begins
to taunt and humiliate Haruma before strangling her.
scene: "1995: The Time She Is Alive". Instead of focusing on Haruma,
this "interlude" features a woman who is sort of obsessed with
her boyfriend and there seems to be no end to the sex between
them. In the first half of this sequence, the woman seems willing
to bend over backwards, so to speak, for her man. In one of the
film's striking images, the woman is tied up in such a way that
it is the rope burn that is turning her on. Seeing a used condom
on the table, she puts the semen into a water pistol and uses
the toy gun to shoot at the man and then up her vagina. She then
asks the man to lick her. Soon, she confronts him about his other
girlfriend. He severely beats her up in response. The next scene
shows the woman on the balcony and pointing the water pistol to
Then a short
cut to Haruma. Though she has broken up with Kenji, she still
visits his apartment when he's not around and pees on the living
interlude involving four occupants in the living room which Haruma
had peed on. The segment involves three-way sex and ends with
one of the men, in Superman costume, shooting his girlfriend.
Finally, a flash forward to 2002 (!) where Kenji and Haruma are
number of shots involving bare breasts, pubic hair, bare buttocks
and the way the different people have sex, it is hard to imagine
Takahisa Zeze's Tokyo X Erotica (2001) anything but a Japanese
Pinku Eiga (pink film).
In an interview,
director Takahisa Zeze said: "I usually show consensual sex. I
try to show relationships, I make films about love. It's not just
about the act of having sex, but what leads up to it and what
comes after. What are the feelings of the people before, while
they do it and after they did it? It's this development that interests
me. I don't care very much about rape, because it's very one-sided
and doesn't allow for this kind of development."
two leads in the film are killed off at the beginning of the film,
what's intriguing, and probably confusing for some, about Tokyo
X Erotica is that it becomes a (philosophical) examination of
life and death - Death even appears in one of the segments - and
because of the flash forwards and flashbacks - the film is also
a comment on time and space. Death is nothing mysterious but it
can affect the masses (the film also refers to the sarin gas attacks
in the Tokyo underground and when the Chinese army attacked the
demonstrators at China's Tiananmen Square).
a videotape playing of Haruma in happier times in the scene where
she is strangled, and some viewers felt that through such recordings,
Zeza has managed to "preserve" life and thus "cheated" death.
But it is perhaps the more primal urges of sex that bring out
the humanity in Zeze's movie. As Death says in the film, he has
no control over the actions of men before they die. To put it
crudely, "I have sex, therefore I am" seems the last resort of
Zeze's characters, for tomorrow they die.
The Tokyo X Erotica DVD (Salvation Films) is banned in $ingapore.