An engineer's wife returns home with a lost teenager. A man posing as her dad tries to get her back, causing the engineer to recall his youth as a revolutionary, obscured by dreamlike disruptions of time and space, fantasy and reality.
A spontaneous romance blooms between Kawamura, a professor touring Europe, and Naoko, a married woman living in Paris, scarred by the Nagasaki atomic bombings. The two protagonists travel around Europe trying to find themselves.
Two interwoven stories. The first is a biography of anarchist Sakae Osugi which follows his relationship with three women in the 1920s. The second centers around two 1960s' students researching Osugi's theories.
Blood is Dry, with pointless alternative titles Bloody Thirst and Blood Thirsty, is like a darker version of Yasuzo Masumura's Giants and Toys (which came out two years before). Both films satirically tackle the media industry, specifically marketing ploys, and both films were pretty much ahead of their time because I can't think of any movie to take on these themes prior.
Yoshida's movie is about an insurance company worker who threatens suicide to protest against the bosses' lay-off decisions. He is then built up as an icon of the insurance company by the media, but his fame is short-lived and fickle, and the same journalists and marketing experts also try to bring him down simultaneously. He realizes that he was nothing before the campaign started and that only now he's starting to accumulate personality traits - artificial ones. This is expressed beautifully in Yoshida's visual language during scenes when the man holds speeches to the public in front of a giant poster image of himself in the background, basically speaking in the shadow of his marketed self.
The film has some similarities with Yoshida's other earlier films - it's a short socially realistic tale with lots of jazz (I'm actually not that fond of the soundtrack to this one). This being Yoshida we're talking about, you can also expect slick chiaroscuro photography with a distinct '60s feel to it and some great framing. One of the more interesting scenes is set on a junkyard where two tabloid journalists are photographing a model in midst of heaps of garbage laying around, so that this time we have interesting uses of various locations to accompany the cynical view of the media. In this movie, Yoshida also tries his hand at quicker-paced editing (refer to the night club scene).
This obviously isn't the best movie by this director, but the plot is good enough to consistently keep you interested and at the time of its release there definitely weren't many films dealing with this topic, which makes it unique by default.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?