inner narrative of a maddening desire, flying feathers, fruits and fire fit the blood. nothing happens abruptly, it´s a slow disintegration (fall) in a contrast of ascending powers of manipulation and lust (rise). subtle imagery and not a single moment of tenderness
Suffering: how we inflict it onto others and ourselves, how milieu inflicts suffering. For a woman who(we are told) does not take anything much too seriously, director Kurahara feels most inspired when depicting Etsuko's attention to the intense particularities of what is physical, an inspired, profound manner of seeing. Kurahara doesn't know how to handle each scene though, running into aesthetic dead-ends.
I wonder how much Mishima might have spared his characters had they discovered S&M. Probably the closest precursor to The Piano Teacher in its miscommunicated advances and desires, showing that those with the power rarely see that their subordinates aren't in on the game. Kurahara is a natural innovator, the slow-mo extending to both sex and violence a telling motif for Etsuko's psyche.
The narration is a bit aimless to me in this film, which apparently focuses rather on a formal aspect of film making.
Luckily it does it with such a free charming spirit, that one dismisses the shortcomings along the way without feeling much sacrifice ...