Hebi ni piasu (Snakes and Earrings) (2008)

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A seemingly straight-laced woman takes a walk on the wild side of both body and mind in this offbeat drama from Japanese filmmaker Yukio Ninagawa. Lui (Yuriko Yoshitaka) is a reserved young woman who goes out to a nightclub one evening and meets Ama (Kengo Kora), a punk rocker with extensive tattoos, piercings and a split tongue that resembles that of a snake. Lui is fascinated by Ama and ends up spending the night with him; soon they are a couple and Lui becomes intensely curious about body modification, and in particular wants to have her tongue split like Ama's. When Lui is introduced to Ama's good friend Shiba (Arata), she finds herself torn between the two men -- she's equally attracted to Shiba, another devotee of body modification, and since he's a tattoo artist, he can give her skin illustrations without charge if she sleeps with him. Adapted from a popular novel by Hitomi Kanehara, Hebi Ni Piasu (aka Snakes and Earrings) received its North American premiere at the 2009 New York Asian Film Festival.

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Critic Reviews for Hebi ni piasu (Snakes and Earrings)

Audience Reviews for Hebi ni piasu (Snakes and Earrings)

Like the wonderful book this was based on, the film is a small little gem. One that revolves around just three people. It explores the 'dark' world they come from, full of piercings, tattoos and rough sex. The film is very sensual but doesn't exclude passion from proceedings. Everything in the film is detailed as some form of release from the suffocating world each character finds them self in. Shot with utter simplicity, the development of the main tattoo is the perfect metaphor for the development of the female lead, as she becomes entwined with demons. An excellent adaptation.

Luke Baldock
Luke Baldock

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