Japanese auteur Shinya Tsukamoto is an ingenious nonconformist, constantly reinventing an exhilarating and avant-garde style to move beyond the sci-fi vision of his cult classic, Tetsuo: The Iron Man. Producing, writing, shooting, editing, and occasionally starring in his own films, Tsukamoto is a savant of independent filmmaking, crafting visually inventive and sensory gems on his own terms. A Snake of June, winner of the Special Jury Prize at Venice, is an atmospheric masterpiece, telling its perverse story of unleashed sexual obsessions with gorgeous blue-toned, rain-drenched, monochrome cinematography. Vital, starring Tadanobu Asano (Thor: Ragnarok), is a morbid yet profound consideration of memory, amplified by a tense and visceral soundscape that includes the cutting of flesh and pencil scraping. Released successively in the early 2000s, both films see the director shifting from his nightmarish visions to turn a tender eye towards two transgressive tales of sensuality.