Rakestraw’s review published on Letterboxd:
I'm noticing a trend with this Oshima guy, the trend I'm speaking of relates to how I feel about his films thus far, they keep me captivated with their visual aesthetics, yet keep me at arm's length with their meandering rapecentric narratives. I'll keep coming back for that glorious cinematography though.
Japan...what's up with the rapes all the time?
Sing a Song of Sex starts out as a pretty straight forward narrative centering on a group of 4 male teenagers fresh from finishing their entrance exams, spending their subsequent time discussing their individual fantasies revolving around number 469, a fellow female exam-taker that currently employs a deathgrip on their thoughts, desires and dreams.
Then, about halfway through the story gets a bit experimental (thank god) when the male foursome's fantasies turn a bit violent as they sit and openly discuss raping 469 in the lecture hall. The images on-screen depict the rape fantasy as reality, although the sound consists of the present-reality discussion making the depiction even more unsettling.
Then there's another rape, then perhaps another rape. Then the rape obsessed foursome decide it's best that they tell 469 about their rape fantasy; 469 dares them to follow through with the act, at the lecture hall, while another rape victim attempts to quell the situation with an impromptu lecture regarding the historical connections between Korea and Japan.
The performances are undeniably great, especially Ichiro Araki as Nakamura brilliantly displaying copious amounts of indifference, cold-blooded indifference where any and all emotions should reside.
But, the main highlight, as always, comes in the form of the cinematography collaboration between Oshima and Akira Takada. Once again employing their oscillating scan camerawork during discussions. Some of the best opposite street tracking shots, framing the groups from the chest up, as well as two exquisite wide angle shots showing the group walking trudging through a snow covered ball field.
Plays like a slightly more unsettling version of A Clockwork Orange with a heap of aimlessness and ice-cold indifference.