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Zigeunerweisen (1980)

Tsigoineruwaizen (original title)
Not Rated | | Horror, Mystery | 1 April 1980 (Japan)
A surreal period film following an university professor and his eerie nomad friend as they go through loose romantic triangles and face death in peculiar ways.


Seijun Suzuki


Yôzô Tanaka (screenplay), Hyakken Uchida (novel)
17 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Yoshio Harada ... Nakasago
Naoko Ôtani ... Sono / O-Ine
Kisako Makishi Kisako Makishi ... Taeko Aochi
Akaji Maro
Kirin Kiki ... Kimi
Yuki Kimura Yuki Kimura
Nagamasa Tamaki Nagamasa Tamaki
Sumie Sasaki Sumie Sasaki ... Maid at a hotel
Shiro Yumemura Shiro Yumemura
Yuki Yonekura Yuki Yonekura
Rubi Enoshima Rubi Enoshima
Hikaru Benisawa Hikaru Benisawa
Tadaomi Watanabe Tadaomi Watanabe
Takashi Aida Takashi Aida
Yoshitomo Oda Yoshitomo Oda


A surreal period film following an university professor and his eerie nomad friend as they go through loose romantic triangles and face death in peculiar ways.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Horror | Mystery


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Did You Know?


The mysterious, ghost-like voice that can be faintly heard on the soundtrack during the playing of Pablo de Sarasate's 1904 recording of his own 1878 composition, Zigeunerweisen (which gives this film its title), and which the film's characters comment upon at great length, is not a fabrication of the filmmakers. On the original recording, at about 3 minutes and 25 seconds, a voice can be heard speaking rapidly for about two seconds. The two main characters in the film have no idea what the voice is saying and it intrigues them. However, according to a biography of the violinist-composer Efrem Zimbalist Sr. (father of the famous film and television actor), Sarasate was actually "instructing his accompanist to cut the slow section" of the composition, presumably to accommodate the limited recording time of the disk. See more »

User Reviews

Seijun Suzuki's art film didn't quite satisfy me
12 March 2006 | by zetesSee all my reviews

Suzuki is generally known for his outrageous, eye-popping imagery. I think his films actually contain a lot of depth and are great besides that imagery, but I know it's the visuals that bring him his fame. This film, independently produced after a long hiatus from film-making, is a different kind of Suzuki. A VERY different Suzuki. Zigeunerweisen, named after a musical composition that plays a couple of times during the film and a record of which plays an important part of the plot, is a rather slowly paced art film, a very long one at that, with an almost European feeling. There are a few striking images in its two and a half hours (most notably a woman licking a man's eyeball), but it isn't the phantasmagoria of Suzuki's earlier films, or his later films. The dialogue is often weird and poetic. My favorite line was "You caress me as if sucking my very bones." The film takes place during the Taisho period, which occurred after the Meiji Restoration during the 20s and 30s. It is a period marked by further Westernization and a loss of traditional values (I might be wrong, but I think Oshima's In the Realm of the Senses is set during the same period). The story involves two friends, a professor and a vagabond, and their relationships with their wives, as well as a geisha they once met on a vacation. There isn't too much story, per se. The vagabond marries a woman who looks identical to the geisha, but doesn't stay faithful, or even at home. The film is mostly told from the point of view of the professor (played by Toshiya Fujita, the director of Lady Snowblood). Like I said, the film is very deliberately paced. It was hard to stay interested at times. But the movie moves toward a mysterious and haunting finale. I don't think I get it, but I found the whole film intriguing, at least. Not my favorite Suzuki by a long shot, but maybe I'll understand it better on a subsequent viewing (which probably won't happen for a long while).

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Release Date:

1 April 1980 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Zigeunerweisen See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cinema Placet See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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