This erotic and darkly comic melodrama by Japanese New Wave auteur Yasuzo Masumura stars a stunning Ayako Wakao as Mitsuko, a beguiling woman at the center of a tangled bisexual love quadrangle between bored housewife Sonoko (Kyoko Kishida), her husband and Mitsuko’s equally deceptive former fiancé. Adapted from the novel by Junichiro Tanizaki, the film’s story of destructive obsession, jealousy and manipulation is brilliantly rendered visually by Masumura and cinematographer Setsuo Kobayashi (Fires on the Plain), whose highly stylized compositions effectively portray the increasingly fractured psyches of four people constantly trying to out-maneuver each other for love at the risk of death.
1964, 91 min., 35mm, color, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Yasuzo Masumura. With Ayako Wakao, Kyoko Kishida, Eiji Funakoshi, Yusuke Kawazu.
Print courtesy of Japan Foundation New York.
Tickets: $13/$10 seniors & students/$5 Japan Society members