|Gekkô no sasayaki 1999 Japan Moonlight Whispers|
Boy with fetishes meets girl with Dom proclivities. At first the girl, played exquisitely by Tsugumi, thinks the boy's over-zealous displays of desire are perverted, but then she realizes his fetishistic personality gives her great power over him so she makes him do pretty much anything degrading she can think of, from licking her feet, nay, her entire leg clean, to locking him in a closet while she has sex with another guy. He goes along with all of it because he is also madly, sadly, and pathetically in love with her. It's a little harder to tell what her motivation is because, well, she's a girl. Depending on the viewer's orientation to things, the film might seem erotic, but no matter which way the wind blows there's no escaping the film's ominous, eerie, and sad emptiness (in an indie good way). This film just broods along beautifully.
This is Akihiko Shiota's directorial debut and probably his strongest film. The focus is clear and concise. The powerful but flawed Harmful Insect would have benefited from such focus. It was the first one of his films I had seen and it pissed me off for days. Then I saw Canary and wasn't sure what to think. There wasn't much new to it and it seemed less well done. Now that I've seen Moonlight Whispers I have to go back and watch those two films again, and I will be seeking out all of his films. Funny how that works.
Summary: An offbeat study of the adult games that men and women play filtered through the actions of two seemingly innocent Japanese school kids, Satsuki and Takuya, two 17-year-olds who first meet practising kendo but later fall head over heels in love. They then discover the ways they can most exuberantly express their love for one another, no matter how perverse. It all starts with Takuya stealing Satsuki's belongings like socks, secretly photographing her beautiful legs, and... When Satsuki discovers this, she takes revenge by dominating him and forcing him to watch her having sex with a schoolmate...