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Kiga kaikyô (1965)
Blend of Kurosawa and Teshigahara
"Kiga Kaikyo" is a perfect blend of Kurosawa's crime films ("The Bad Sleep Well" and "High and Low") with Teshigahara's hypnotism ("Pitfall," "Woman in the Dunes," and "The Face of Another"). Characteristic of the best films of 1960's Japanese cinema, Kudo blends a complex tale of deceit and moral dilemma with elegantly weaved chiaroscuro cinematography. The film unfolds over three acts with deliberate pacing; over these three acts the protagonist shifts into an antagonist and Kudo examines the primal nature of man. The film is not perfect -- it lacks the poignance of Kurosawa and the visual mastery of Teshigahara. Nevertheless, it blends both together seamlessly, tapping the best of both director's and delivery a tightly wound suspense curio that fails to disappoint.