Sunday, 2 March 2014

Lesbian Rape: Sweet Honey Juice (1991) Hiseyasu Sato

In previous films Hiseyasu Sato has dealt in cameras, microphones, vibrators and more, now is the turn of the test tube. Lesbian Rape: Sweet Honey Juice opens with light, clink, pipette mixing unknown fluids, then a whole veritable forest of unruly test tubes through which is glimpsed a lady, fractured, cold and indistinct. By the by we see her talk to a  Dictaphone and her friendship with a lizard which she strokes with erotic tenderness, single rich red nail caressing tiny back. Subtle it ain't but a fine bit of economical character sketching and thematic foreshadowing, for a newcomer or a long time fan. Test tubes are a neat subject, while the previous mentioned devices mediate directly between mind and body, test tubes essentially come between people and the reactions of creation, are clear and isolating ways of seeing and can even perform pleasure too. Alas the film has little to do with the purpose of test tubes for science, being more interested in their role in intimacy as tender or vicious, the latter perversely less cold. And as two unknowns together form something new the characters here progressively fuel and warp each other, making things new. The same old Sato preoccupations in just slightly different situations really. But while his work is all too often flawed by producer impositions, needlessly drawn out sex and frustrating abortive run times, this one has a well structured plot and vivid characters which are actually advanced and developed by sleaze, and a smart climax that brings everything together. The focus is on lonely lesbian scientist Kyoko with an urge to control manifest in her study and her night time rape fantasies. Her interior life is filmed in rich sad blue, her fantasies the amber of flesh and desire preserved, and as she begins to pine after her assistant Chitsuko and ensnare technician and fellow rape fantasist Yumisaka blue and amber literally come together as fantasy turns to reality. Afterwards the lighting tends towards the less artificial and the rape scenes from a kind of spacially screwy voyeurism to somewhat more of a conventional intensity. Chitsuko is notionally the normal one of the three, lonely and yearning waiting for a catalyst, while Yumisaka is curious as pinku rapists go, a pathetic, malleable type searching for some sense of control. Ably performed they twist and turn, action in apartments, a rooftop, a stairwell (these might be plural but it makes little difference), public paths and bridges and benches, part of but isolated from the world around. It's altogether most satisfying, bringing the sleaze and weirdness in good measure, a spot of dark humour, even odd passages of poignancy and tender, arousing eroticism. Essential Sato then, and even nay sayers or newcomers may find good times. Check it out folks...

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