The erotic drama is a unique subgenre unto itself. There’s always been a stigma associated with it in terms of the inherent sleaze juxtaposed with often revealing explorations of lust, love, sex, sexuality and the specificity of emotions associated when two or more individuals connect or attempt to connect on a physical and/or emotional level. The infamous classic Nagisa Oshima film, In the Realm of the Senses made it a point to juxtapose his lead lovers’ fiery passion with their self-imposed solipsism. Luca Guadagnino’s gorgeous A Bigger Splash sets itself in a rather “on the nose” yet still effective metaphor for this specific form of myopia and hedonism: most of the action takes place by a swimming pool on a private island surrounded by the sea. Essentially a riff on The Big Chill and 9 ½ Weeks, this vibrant tale is about the lustful intertwining love square between four individuals.
Director Bong-joon Ho’s (The Host) 2014 dystopian sci-fi fable Snowpiecer plays as the sort of socio-political manifesto that many genre films strive towards but rarely achieve. Like the angry sci-fi films of the 60s-70s counter-culture boom it is so very much rooted in the era it was conceived and produced. Perhaps in the future, viewers revisiting the film may look back and get a feel for the issues of our time and the attitude towards them. Beyond that the film also tells an exciting, action-packed story with confidence and deft polish.