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Snakes And Earrings (2008) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Blu-ray Region A

Iura Arata (Actor) | Kora Kengo (Actor) | Fujiwara Tatsuya (Actor) | Oguri Shun (Actor)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Based on Kanehara Hitomi's Akutagawa-winning novel, Snakes and Earrings (a.k.a. Hebi ni Piasu) jumps into the piercing world of body modification and youth degeneration. Up-and-coming actress Yoshitaka Yuriko (Noriko's Dinner Table, Adrift in Tokyo) gives a brave performance as a young woman increasingly lost in pain and desolation opposite ARATA (Ping Pong) and Kora Kengo (M). Intense and unflinching in its portrayal of body mod and S&M, Snakes and Earrings is the first feature from legendary theater director Ninagawa Yukio, best known for his Shakespeare productions. Also look for appearances from Fujiwara Tatsuya (Death Note), Oguri Shun (Crows: Episode 0), and Karasawa Toshiaki (20th Century Boys).

Looking for thrills, 19-year-old Lui (Yoshitaka Yuriko) moves in with her new boyfriend Ama (Kora Kengo), a pierced and tattooed guy she met at a nightclub. Through Ama, Lui meets sadistic tattoo artist and body piercer Shiba (ARATA), whom she strikes up a relationship with in exchange for body modifications. Floating between the two men, she finds herself falling into a downward spiral of violence, sadomasochism, and alcoholism.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Snakes And Earrings (2008) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 蛇信與舌環 (2008) (Blu-ray) (香港版) 蛇信与舌环 (2008) (Blu-ray) (香港版) Snakes And Earrings (2008) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Snakes And Earrings (2008) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Iura Arata (Actor) | Kora Kengo (Actor) | Fujiwara Tatsuya (Actor) | Oguri Shun (Actor) | Sonim (Actor) | Yoshitaka Yuriko (Actor) ARATA 井浦新 (Actor) | 高良健吾 (Actor) | 藤原龍也 (Actor) | 小栗旬 (Actor) | Sonim (Actor) | 吉高由里子 (Actor) Iura Arata (Actor) | 高良健吾 (Actor) | 藤原龙也 (Actor) | 小栗旬 (Actor) | Sonim (Actor) | Yoshitaka Yuriko (Actor) ARATA 井浦新 (Actor) | 高良健吾 (Actor) | 藤原竜也 (Actor) | 小栗旬 (Actor) | ソニン (Actor) | 吉高由里子 (Actor) Iura Arata (Actor) | Kora Kengo (Actor) | Fujiwara Tatsuya (Actor) | Oguri Shun (Actor) | Sonim (Actor) | Yoshitaka Yuriko (Actor)
Director: Ninagawa Yukio 蜷川幸雄 蜷川幸雄 蜷川幸雄 Ninagawa Yukio
Blu-ray Region Code: A - Americas (North, Central and South except French Guiana), Korea, Japan, South East Asia (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) What is it?
Release Date: 2013-12-13
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Country of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: [HD] High Definition What is it?
Disc Format(s): Blu-ray
Screen Resolution: 1080p (1920 x 1080 progressive scan)
Rating: III
Duration: 125 (mins)
Publisher: Panorama (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1034782951

Product Information

Director: Yukio Ninagawa

Lui is nineteen years old, beautiful, bored and unmotivated. When she meets Ama in a bar, she finds herself mesmerized by his forked tongue and moves in with him and has her own tongue pierced. Determined to push her boundaries further, she asks Amas friend Shiba to design an exquisite tattoo for her back. But what Shiba demands as payment for the tattoo leads Lui into a brutal and explicit love triangle like no other. Then, after a violent encounter on the backstreets of Tokyo, Ama vanishes and Lui must face up to the reality of her life.
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Snakes And Earrings (2008) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

March 27, 2015

Originally released back in 2008, Snakes and Earrings is an adaptation of Kanehara Hitomi's Akutagawa-winning and massively popular 2003 novel Hebi ni Piasu, marking the film debut of Ninagawa Yukio, an acclaimed theatre director known chiefly for his Shakespeare productions. While Japanese counter-culture exposes and tales of wayward youth are common enough, the film goes a step further in its graphic depiction of piercings, tattooing and sex of various kinds, following a young girl who gradually slides into angst and malaise.

Young actress Yoshitaka Yuriko (Adrift in Tokyo) takes the lead as the 19-year-old Lui, who one day meets the tattooed and pierced Ama (Kora Kengo, The Woodsman and the Rain) in a nightclub. Entranced by his split tongue, she finds escape from her boring average life in their relationship, and through him meets Shiba (ARATA, Ping Pong), a body modification specialist with a penchant for sadism. Paying Shiba for piercings and tattoos with rough sex, Lui finds herself caught between the two men, and slowly but surely starts to wander down a dark path of self-destruction.

Extreme content aside, Snakes and Earrings was always going to be a difficult book to bring to the screen due to its short length and economic prose. Oddly, Ninagawa Yukio takes quite a different approach to the material, the film clocking in at over two hours, which unavoidably makes it come across as a bit of a stretch. With the characters by definition lacking motivation or drive, the narrative similarly at times seems to meander along, content to simply follow its central trio as they meet up, chat, get pierced or tattooed, and have sex. It's this aspect which is likely to divide viewers, as some may well find its unfocused approach, coupled with a generally cold and distant atmosphere a bit off-putting, while others will appreciate its lack of melodrama or tawdry tears.

The film does work well as a chilly, nihilistic character study in this regard, and though Lui is hard to connect with on any kind of emotional level, her journey is bleakly engaging and rings depressingly true. The love triangle at the heart of the film is far from the usual romantic drama gimmick, and holds the interest in a grim manner, even if the downbeat ending is never really in much doubt ?there are moments of tenderness scattered throughout to be fair, and they do surprise, even if none are ever really developed. Yoshitaka Yuriko impresses in the lead role, and the lack of emotional depth to Lui is no reflection on the quality of her strong performance, which purposefully depicts the protagonist as a lost soul, tormented by her own emptiness. Kora Kengo and ARATA are both fine, and together they do make for an intriguing gang - coincidentally, Yoshitaka and Kora went on to pair up again in A Story of Yonosuke.

The film is unsurprisingly a very adult affair, with a great deal of sex and nudity right from the start, including bondage and some fairly rough S&M scenes and a few flashes of bloody violence. Shot with a grey, grimy eye, the film has a suitably grounded look, and this helps to ensure that it never really feels like cheap exploitation, partly due to Ninagawa's background in theatre, which does give it the air of a three character play. The source material by Kanehara Hitomi, who was only 21 when she wrote the original novel, also shines through in this respect, and the sex is genuinely traumatic and psychologically disturbing, rather than giving the impression it was shot for the titillation of an older male audience.

Though not for everyone, Snakes and Earrings is a very creditable adaptation, and a challenging film in its own right. Deliberately distant and obtuse, it nevertheless offers a frank and searching exploration of the hollowness and isolation at the heart of Japanese youth delinquency, boosted by brave work from Yoshitaka Yuriko.

by James Mudge - EasternKicks.com

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.
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