Warm Water Under a Red Bridge

Director: Shohei Imamura
Year Released: 2001
Rating: 2.5

A recently unemployed salary man (Kôji Yakusho) goes in search for treasure in a house by a red bridge only to find a sexually voracious Earth Mama (Misa Shimizu) whose body mysteriously retains water that can only be released via intercourse. It isn't a trickle or squirt, either - it's enough to flood an entire floor and run into the river (making the fish crazy) and certainly enough to put porn starlet Cytherea's talent to shame. As with Imamura's other films - but especially his later ones - there's a devotion to the quirky and odd - the African marathoner, the gushing woman's fortune-telling grandma, the philosopher bum - which can be a nice relief from the majority of those blasted over-complicated pictures, though this does strike me as being essentially a one-joke movie, only exploring possible tension between the two main characters at the very conclusion when Yakusho accuses Shimizu's character of infidelity (well aware that for the entire movie he was cheating on his wife). The tone is sex-positive and Imamura's argument that if we don't release our sexual energy we'll end up committing crimes (our pent-up heroine likes to steal … cheese, among other items) is straight out of Freudian psychology - it may not be true, exactly, but anything that encourages copulation is fine by me.