August 4, 2021

Wet Woman in the Wind

Success also has its downsides, especially if you just want to concentrate on your work, but the women just won’t leave you alone. At least that’s how the well-known playwright Kosuke Takasuke (Tasuku Nagaoka) sees it, and that’s why he has been staying in a small, self-built hut in a small forest near the Japanese lusts for quite some time. His peace and quiet, however, is one day sensitively disturbed with the arrival of Shiori (Yuki Mamiya), the new waitress of the village café, who has got it into her head to seduce the dismissive author. When Shiori becomes more direct with her approaches and throws herself at Kosuke, he gets violent and chases the young woman away, but she is not willing to accept this defeat. From Yuzawa (Takahiro Kato), a mechanic who supplies Kosuke with food from time to time, the author learns that Shiori has already seduced other men in the village and has already made the owner of the café give up his marriage for her. Unimpressed, Kosuke tries to find his peace again, but Shiori does not allow this to happen, even taking men to the author’s hut where she has sex with them. When Kosuke’s ex-wife from the city finds him and confesses that she still has feelings for him, the calm is gone for good.

Giving up the women
To celebrate its 45th anniversary, the Japanese production company Nikkatsu has revived a film series that ensured the studio’s economic survival in the 1970s with the novel Porno Reboot Project. The directors were granted a high degree of artistic freedom, as long as they included a certain quota of sex scenes in their film, which led to a whole series of very ambitious and interesting projects, such as Sion Sono’s Antiporno. Akihiko Shiota, who is best known in his Japanese homeland, was already able to convince audiences and critics at the Locarno Film Festival 2016 with his contribution to the novel Porno Reboot Project Wet Woman in the Wind.

Although Wet Woman in the Wind is also not stingy when it comes to sex scenes, the category of porn only fits the story Shiota tells in his film to a limited extent. Instead, his protagonist has made it his mission to live abstinently and only for art, which he tells anyone who dares to interfere in his new life, especially Shiori, who, by means of her seduction skills, does everything to bring down this already shaky construct. The author’s self-chosen hermit life is revealed after only a few minutes as an artist’s pose, which he maintains out of pure self-interest, because he does not work in the artistic sense. Rather, he has become an observer of the people around him, who has made himself very comfortable in this position and who, he says, completely negates connections and relationships with other people.

Between howling and groaning
In this life plan, which is similarly in danger of collapsing like the hut that Kosuke built for himself, Shiori enters with the conscious aim of proving the dilapidated construction and ridiculousness of this concept. With great joy of playing and a lot of physical effort (which can be understood as you like) she starts a game with the writer, in which seduction is the goal, but also the task of posing and in a certain way also a form of humiliation are important stages. Especially the dialogues of the two are full of allusions and many an ironic point at the expense of Kosuke, who is not willing to acknowledge the egoism of his pose.

This battle of the sexes is underlaid with the music of Shunsuke Kida, whose jazz-like structure forms the appropriate sound carpet for this story between irony, seduction and romance.

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