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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Rokugatsu no hebi' or 'A Snake of June')

directed by Shinya Tsukamoto
Japan 2002

Rinku is a suicide-prevention counselor, living with her husband Shigehiko. He's older than she, scrubbing things constantly, sexually indifferent. They sleep apart. During Tokyo's rainy season, Iguchi, a photographer Rinku has counseled by phone, sends her pictures he has taken through her skylight: she's wearing a short skirt, masturbating. He offers her the negatives if she'll follow his instructions. She's humiliated and agrees. He tells her he's only giving her license to express her inner desires. He sends her into the night to walk on the wild side. Then, she asks a favor of him, and soon her husband receives phone calls and photographs. Where will this triangle lead?

***

The Snake in question refers to a stalker (the role taken by Tsukamoto), who worms his way into the lives of Rinko (Kurosawa), and her husband Shigehiko (Koutari), by posting her an envelope stating it to be 'Your Husband's Secrets'. Inside are photos of Rinko masturbating. June is the rainy season in Japan, and as a result, the rain here is incessant and signifies the outlet of pent up emotions and feelings. Due to Rinko's fear of the negatives falling into the wrong hands, she goes along with the demands of her stalker. He promises to destroy the negatives only after Rinko carries out some 'tasks' he has set for her, which are mainly designed for his own selfish kicks. Rinko and her husband are seemingly happy in their loving but passionless life, but are drifting apart so slowly they barely notice it. Both are workaholics and Shigehiko also has a cleaning obsession, brought on by his fear of dirt and bodily fluids, which makes it impossible for Rinko to have an intimate relationship with him.

Excerpt taken from Terresa Gafney's review on the Z Review

Poster

Theatrical Release: September 1st, 2002 - Venice Film Festival

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Comparison:

Tartan - Region 2 - PAL vs. Third Window Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Covers

 

 

Distribution Tartan - Region 2 - PAL

Third Window Films

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:16:49 PAL (No PAL Speedup) 1:16:54.985
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: ? mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,073,423,427 bytes

Feature: 14,848,579,584 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Blu-ray
Audio Japanese: DTS 5.1 Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo  

DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 2539 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2539 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1568 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1568 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Tartan Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• 4-Pages Booklet with Justin Bowyer Film Notes
• Trailer (2:03) in ANAMORPHIC 1:1.85
Asia Extreme Trailer Reel:
• The Happiness of the Katakuris
• Tetsuo: The Iron man
• Dark Water
• Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
• Tetsuo II: Body Hammer

DVD Release Date: January 26th, 2004

Keep Case
Chapters: 16

Release Information:
Studio:
Third Window Films

 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,073,423,427 bytes

Feature: 14,848,579,584 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• New audio commentary by Tom Mes, author of Iron Man: The Cinema of Shinya Tsukamoto

• New interview with director Shinya Tsukamoto (25:41)

• Shooting A Snake of June (19:48)

• UK Trailer (2:24)

• Trailers for 4 other Third Window Films releases; Tetsuo: The Iron Man / Tetsuo II: Body Hammer, Tokyo Fist, Bullet Ballet and Kotoko
 

Blu-ray Release Date: September 28th, 2015
Standard (thicker) UK Blu-ray case

Chapters 16

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: (July 2017) Third Window Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray A Snake of June is an brilliant little artsy erotically-driven flic on themes of desperation, rejection of intimacy and self-absorption in an overcrowded society.  It was shot in 16mm monochrome but printed on color stock through blue filters in post production. The rough, frayed-edge, appearance is intentional. The 1080P is advertised as a "brand new digital restoration supervised by director Shinya Tsukamoto". We can assume that the blue-er look is authentic and beyond that it is hard to critique such a style-heavy image although we can see it advances on the SD showing more details and thicker grain. The HD transfer appears competent.

Third Window Films use a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround track at 2539 kbps (24-bit) and the, often intentionally scattered, effects of rain, crowds etc. have a rich component. The score is by Chu Ishikawa (who has done a few Shinya Tsukamoto films) and, although sparsely utilized, helps establish the isolation themes. There are optional English subtitles on the Region 'B'-locked Blu-ray disc.

Great extras starting with a new audio commentary by Tom Mes, author of Iron Man: The Cinema of Shinya Tsukamoto. I appreciated his analysis and background of the director's work and style. Also included is a 26-minute interview with director Shinya Tsukamoto (with English subtitles.) Shooting A Snake of June is a 20-minite piece standard piece with the filmmakers - also in Japanese with English subtitles.  There is a UK Trailer for the film and trailers for other Third Window releases.

One can't help but think of Tsai Ming-Liang's brilliant Vive l'amour, showing that sexual desires will find a way - even with the hurdles self-imposed alienation of impersonal big city life. I really enjoyed revisiting A Snake in June and, as usual, the higher resolution helped me appreciate the film more - as did the valuable commentary and extras. Strongly recommended!

***

NOTE: The AR has been confirmed:

Regarding Per-Olaf's review of A Snake in June, the OAR is indeed 1.33:1. I saw this at the TIFF and own the Japanese DVD, both 1.33:1 - Bill

On the cover there's 1:1.33 OAR, but I doubt it. The screen-captures of the trailer (in 1:1.85 anamorphic) are more dynamic, than the captures from the movie.

I can't find any information of the OAR of this film. We have a trailer in 1:1.85 and the film in 1:1.33. The pictures from the trailer are more dynamic than the pictures from the film.

Tartan has transferred this in the whole camera negative size, so that the marks of glue during the cuts between pictures are visible. Usually they are on the minor black border's in the 1:1.37 prints. Of course during over-scan in TV this are not visible.

I believe this should be in 1:1.85. The only point I can find for 1:1:33 ratio, is that the film reminds very much of old silent movies, and with Academic ratio they come closer to it.

If this are a Open matte print, then Tartan has put the English subtitles so low, that it's not very 16:9 friendly, even tough one could zoom it to the 1:1.85 size.

Per-Olof Strandberg


DVD Menus


 

Third Window Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 


NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were obtained directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

1) Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Third Window Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Subtitle Sample

 

Screen Captures

1) Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Third Window Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Third Window Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Third Window Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Third Window Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 

Box Covers

 

 

Distribution Tartan - Region 2 - PAL

Third Window Films

Region 'B' - Blu-ray



 

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