"The film is about an idealistic duality of art (literature and calligraphy) and sensuality"
The above comment by Adam A. Wilcox is absolutely true. This film, by using the parallels between the original author of Pillow Book and Nagiko, tries to find whether there is any common source behind the intense pleasures that can be derived from art and sensuality.
In another level there is an attempt to make a bridge between literature and film. In this film, if you watch closely, multiple 'windows' have been used which serve the same purposes as the footnotes in a book. So, this film is not only to be watched, but also to be read.
"Sex through the whole movie but i could barely stand to even watch it."
It is not sex, it is the celebration of sensuality. Here sexual acts have attained the heights of the works of art and that's why they are supposed to stimulate your brain, not anyhing else.
And alone and without his nest shall the eagle fly across the sun.
This is a haunting film. I actually rented this, because of Ewan McGregor's name appearing in the credits, from Blockbuster! I believe no one had seen it or I wouldn't have found it on their shelves. (Foreign films bear no ratings).I wanted to mention the music. It was eery & special,like the movie.