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Directed by Seijun Suzuki

Japan 1991 140 mins.

According to film critic Tony Rayns, Kagero-za “may well be Suzuki’s finest achievement outside the constraints of genre filmmaking.” In this hallucinatory adaptation of work by the Taisho era writer Kyoka Izumi, a mysterious woman named Shinako invites Matsuzaki, a playwright, to the city of Kanazawa for a romantic rendezvous. While Matsuzaki is on his way, his patron Tamawaki appears on the train, claiming to be en route to witness a love suicide between a married woman and her lover. Matsuzaki suspects Shinako is Tamawaki’s wife, and the trip to Kanazawa may spell his doom. As in Ziguernerweisen, reality, fantasy, life, and afterlife blend together in Kagero-za—most spectacularly in the grand finale, in which Matsuzaki finds his life morphing into a deranged theatrical extravaganza. Intended for mature audiences. Print courtesy of the Japan Foundation. (Japanese with English subtitles)