Akira, a teacher from Tokyo, has just arrived in a small rural town to begin his new job. Soon after arriving, he meets, and begins to fall for, Miki, a papermaker and part of a large and ... See full summary »
Gennosuke, a clan retainer, kills one of the clan ministers as part of a plot to achieve reform. He is pursued by his former comrades, each hoping to complete the vendetta put on Gennosuke ... See full summary »
Nine convicts escape from prison; most are convicted murders. They commandeer a van from a strip club. Their plan is to find a stash of counterfeit money that a deranged cell mate told them... See full summary »
Measured, elegant, unique, impeccably made, Ichikawa chose a vintage fifties who-done-it and used the post war setting, the hint of perverted Japanese Industrial power and lashings of violence, with a bit of sex, to create something that is unlike anything else in his or anyone else's output.
Shifting the detective story to a Japan full of returned soldiers, shortages and disrupted tradition and then playing the simple minded material straight faced, complete with the mask over a mask heir to the family fortune that is to be allocated by reading the will, comes with all his life time of technical know how. It makes what is very slow paced gripping and at the same time something closer to art film.
The star presences of Junko Fuji and Nakadai, as a Black & white still photo, produce the touch that confirms that this is not just an old man's pulp fiction.
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