From The New York Asian Film Festival ’17: Our Review of ‘Wet Woman in the Wind’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, NYAFF '17 by - July 10, 2017
From The New York Asian Film Festival ’17: Our Review of ‘Wet Woman in the Wind’

Akihiko Shiota’s film Wet Woman in the Wind is an attempt to bring back soft core films of the ’70s. Now we all have expectations regarding that that genre. But this entry to this year New York Asian Film Festival and smarter than your average soft core. The film successfully sells the erratic nature one of the protagonists. These characters, in a way, comment itself on the give and take nature of consent. It also reminds me of many things like contemporary theatre, and Chaplinesque physical comedy, both working here quite competently.

Shiori (Yuri Mamiya) is our heroine and she is not shy. During the film’s opening scene, she takes her top off but she does it on her terms. The film is obviously under a male gaze but she’s not posing in front of it, disregarding it even. We see that ethos throughout the film. She climbs people’s vehicles and makes herself at home everywhere she goes. The fact that women like her don’t fare well in rural areas does not bother her. She brazenly tells playwright Kosuke (Tasuku Nagaoka) that he will pay her to have sex with him. And that’s the end of that conversation.

Kosuke stays in her town because he wants people to leave him alone but she’s not having it. He doesn’t welcome any distractions but the film lets its audience allow it more than he does. Other characters come into the mix, like a cafe owner romantically linked to both leads. There’s also Kosuke’s ex, leading an entourage of young male actors. Shenanigans ensue, including scenes where both women make the actors take turns with them. As we’ll see, this is a film that wants its characters to get happy endings. And we might be able forgive whatever crassness we see beforehand.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you’re working.