Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Kenji Mizuhashi, Tsugumi, Kouta Kusano, Harumi Inoue, Shino Aizawa
Director: Akihiko Shiota
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Love and Dominance
Sebastian Flyte | San Francisco, Ca USA | 01/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Takuya loves Satsuki and Satsuki loves Takuya-at least until she finds out that that what Takuya really loves is being dominated and abused by her. Moonlight whispers lies somewhere between THE PIANO TEACHER and SECRETARY as a thoughtful look at how a relationship based on domination can develop between two people, but it is presented in a manner unlike the two films I just mentioned. All three share a wide eyed fascination with the subject, but where SECRETARY approaches it with humor and THE PIANO TEACHER with horror, MOONLIGHT WHISPERS is out to tell a genuine love story. It helps that the two characters are high school students who appear almost entirely innocent about the subject of love at the beginning of the film. The blurb on the box says that watching MOONLIGHT WHISPERS is like watching a very kinky episode of "Dawson's Creek". And it's right, only I'd hasten to add that the film is better written and acted than the sitcom. Not that I ever watched that show. Ever. I first saw this film at the New York S&M Film Festival (I was there for the films, not the S&M, thank you) and despite containing very little of what we generally think of as S&M, it was an audience favorite. It's worth your attention."
Utterly Unique and Beautiful...A Gentle S/M Coming-of-Age...
John Muller | Fullerton, CA | 04/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Moonlight Whispers is a surprisingly sweet tale of two Japanese teens whose first forays into young love escalates into an S&M relationship. It is sort of like Endless Love if it were directed by Andrew Blake.
Takayu and Satsuki are teenagers going to the same school and have been friendly since they both become members of the kendo club. Takayu has been hiding a deep crush for Satsuki, and when she reveals that she has always liked him, the two begin dating. Although it seemed to be what he always wished for, after the two lose their virginity with each other, Takayu finds he is not interested in her in a normal sexual fashion. Takayu is more comfortable with being subservient. When Satsuki discovers his drawer full of pictures of her, articles of her clothing, and an audio tape of her going to the bathroom, she is initially sickened and shocked. She begins dating a classmate, Uematsu, but Takayu continues to follow her and insist that he wants to be her obedient dog. Satsuki finds that she gets pleasure out of being cruel to him, and soon the two begin a strange relationship, struggling with their perverted desires.
Ultimately, this is a remarkable film, unlike any I've seen before (it makes you want to seek out more foreign films!), and I was mesmerized by it. Not a soft porn or exploitation film at all but a sincere and sensitive exploration of character, psychology and a taboo subject -- and intensely romantic. Also on this DVD is an interview with the young director, which is also quite interesting. After 'The Losers Club: Complete Restored Edition' by Richard Perez, Moonlight Whispers is best "unconventional" purchase I made from Amazon this Year.
Daitokuji31 | Black Glass | 09/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The budding relationship between Takuya and Satsuki seems normal enough. Takuya, smitten by the beautiful girl, joins the kendo club in order to get closer to the one he loves, even becoming her personal workout partner a role in which he suffers several smacks upside the head with a practice sword. However, it seems that Takuya's affection will remain unreciprocated because Takuya considers the long-haired Satsuki out of his reach. Yet when Takuya's best friend asks him to give Satsuki a love letter, a letter he had used on another girl a short time before, Satsuki lets her disappoint be known that she would have preferred to have received a letter from Takuya.
Elated by these words, Takuya begins his relationship with the girl of his dreams. They spend their days riding together on Takuya's bike and playing video games. However, one day, when Takuya stays home from school because of a cold, Satsuki visits him and they sleep together for the first time. While this is Satsuki's first sexual experience with Takuya, Takuya has found a number of ways to be "intimate" with Satsuki without her being present. After discovering that his locker key could also open Satsuki's, Takuya indulged his desires by smelling Satsuki's gym shorts and collecting other odds and ends such as used chapstick and tissues. Takuya also has a number of clandestine photos of Satsuki and even goes as far as to record an audio tape of his girlfriend urinating.
Takuya, of course, keeps all of this a secret from his girlfriend, but after discovering one of her socks under Takuya's sheets; Satsuki discovers Takuya's other memorabilia as well. Totally freaked out by the experience, Satsuki does her best to avoid Takuya but he pursues her recently. In order to make Takuya jealous Satsuki begins dating Uematsu, the former couple's senior classman in the kendo club; however, instead of ceasing his pursuit, Takuya continues to follow Satsuki and tells her that he wants to be her dog and that he will do anything for her. Scared of Takuya's ways at first, Satsuki eventually enjoys tormenting the young man her favorite method being to hide Takuya away, sometimes with his hands tied behind his back, where he can watch her make love with Uematsu. This wicked game continues throughout the film.
Taking the mundane high school love drama and giving it a fetishized edge, Shiota's film explores the developing sexuality of two young people who do not fit the average, or what is perceived to be average, mold of young love. There are some quite tender moments such as Takuya's and Satsuki's first sexual encounter, but the most fascinating aspect of the film is Satsuki's discovery of her own sexuality. Desiring to have a normal relationship, Satsuki's discovery that she is a bit of a sadist disturbs her. Numerous times throughout the film, such as when she forces Takuya to lick the sweat of her body, she literally breaks down in varying degrees. An interesting film, but definitely not one for family movie night, hehe.
Axioms of feeling
Akira Touya | Berlin | 05/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"it was supremely enjoyable to watch. everything that happened in the movie makes sense. if you really like someone, you will do anything for them...thus, this movie just explores truisms of relationships. i suppose it may be slightly erotic, but i do not feel it to be so."