Kaze ni nureta onna (Wet woman in the wind)
In Akihiko Shiota’s first film Gekkô no sasayaki (Moonlight Whispers, 1999), a boy with a fetishism for female authority kneels down to his girlfriend and declares: «I’m your dog». For this 3rd participation to the Festival del film Locarno, Mr. Shiota returns with a masterfully written story of desire and domination that boasts comparable canine analogies.
A stray dog – or rather, a stray bitch – is how the male lead, Kosuke, calls the beautiful stranger who makes a spectacular entrance into his hitherto quiet life. He resists her sexual provocations, explaining that he has left the city for an isolated mountain cabin in order to get away from women and «think deeply». Shiori (the bitch has a name) laughs, calling him a fool. Denying oneself sex? How ridiculous. She has an appetite and no intention of letting herself starve. And a man who rejects her deserves punishment.
The Nikkatsu studio asked for Mr. Shiota’s take on their brand of erotic cinema known as “roman porno” and the game came with certain rules, such as making the film shorter than 80 minutes and shooting it in the record time of one week. Although incredibly restrictive at first sight, Mr. Shiota appears to have turned this last constraint into a formidable asset. Kaze ni nureta onna (Wet Woman in the Wind) is infused with an unstoppable energy, which shouldn’t let us overlook the delectable subtlety of his mise-en-scène and dialog. And in addition to an unhinged freedom of tone, this joyful spontaneity induces an original exploration of spaces. Characters have sex when and where they feel like it, whether or not people are right there watching them. Who’s the doggy?