***Contains spoilers. You have been warned.***
***Also, I know this isn’t a film blog but more of a creative sex blog, but some films just light my brain and/or my nether regions on fire; this is one of them.***
I recently subscribed to The Criterion Channel, and it has proven a very good investment as I absolutely adore the art of cinema, and have since I discovered it in my teens.
This past week I was very surprisingly in the mood for something erotic… I know, right? I wasn’t sure what to watch, so I literally typed in “sex” in the search field. I wanted to see what I could find.
And for your information, I don’t always watch raunchy porn (very thoughtfully curated raunchy porn, that is); sometimes I want something artfully rendered but just as explicit.
And guess what I discovered….
My search revealed this gem: “In the Realm of the Senses” (1976) by Nagisa Oshima. Oh, thank you film gods for this one!
Considered to be highly contraversial, even by today’s standards, the film was not allowed to actually be made in Japan; it had to be processed and edited in France, and given a French subtitle, L’Empire des Sens. Knowing that, I was hooked before the opening credits even began to roll.
The film is supposedly based on a true story originating in 1930s Japan of a torrid sexual affair between a married inn-owner, Kichizo Ishida, and one of his servants and a former prostitute, Sada Abe. This film encapsulates what it means to be utterly consumed by mad obsessive love. If you think Sid and Nancy were crazy, then you haven’t seen this film. In fact, Sada and Kichi probably came back as Sid and Nancy, but they sadly didn’t fare any better in that iteration of their souls either.
If you want a synopsis of the film, go to Wikipedia. I don’t want to rehash every detail. In fact, watch it for yourself, but it is highly explicit in its sexuality. You will see it all: fellatio, penetration, voyeurism, BDSM, having sex with old ladies, sticking eggs into vulvas then eating them, breath and knife play, this film is no bullshit. That egg scene alone deserves its own analysis, especially for people who are into ovipositioning. I may or may not be one of those people, too soon to tell at this point in my evolution, but anything is possible. Digressing yet again… Jesus….
The love that explodes between Kichi and Sada is enough to make him leave his family and comfortable life, and live as shut-ins in deliriously cum-soaked squallor. Once they lock themselves into their little room, spied upon by servants and geisha, they stay there and fuck their trembling and equally broken souls away for the duration of the film, falling deeper and deeper into a boundless void of increasingly kinky and dangerous fuckery.
They get into choking and strangulation, and discover new heights of transcendent and horrifying pleasure. They flirt with extreme danger, and get off on the possibility of death by kink. These two crazy kids are the very definition of testing the limits, and it is borderline traumatic to behold, even for art’s sake. Yet I couldn’t stop looking at the destructive manifestations of their hysterical and unfathomably famished attraction to each other.
Sada cannot get enough of Kichi’s (refreshingly average-sized) cock, especially how it twitches inside of her the harder she chokes him. The trust and bare intimacy between them is what marks the difference between art and pornography in this film.
When she finally chokes Kichi to death, with his consent, they are unafraid of the ensuing physical separation; they are joined at the soul, and their bond is absolute. After he dies, she severes his beloved penis and writes “Sada and Kichi the two of us forever” on his chest in blood. She embraces him in tear-stained joy as they have acheived the highest level of blissful carnal abandonment: physical death. A terrifying concept, and not one I advocate for, but it is a hallmark of the depth of their frightening connection; not even death can separate them, not even death can put a stopper in their l’amour fou.
The rest of the allegedly true story goes that she was caught walking the streets with his penis either in hand or in her in a state of absolute bliss. Keep in mind that women were not exactly encouraged to wear their sexuality on their sleeves the way Sada does; one could argue that it still remains this way for women all over the world. Yet she is unapologetic in her extreme love and sexual hunger for Kichi-san, and still stands as a beacon of unfettered unashamed feminine sexuality even today.
Is she a murderer or a hero? Maybe she was a bit of both. Regardless though, this film is sheer genius and deserves to be watched many times over… especially for that egg scene which I can’t seem to get out of my head… for some strange reason.
If you enjoy extended orgasms with some shock, horror, high art and emotional intensity thrown in for good measure, this film is for you.
Images from Google
I am open to suggestions of similar films. Know any? I want more!