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.
A diptych proclaiming its sources as Goethe and Dostoevsky, two writers, here at least, divided by colour and monochrome respectively. The film opens with a wonderful medium close up of a young woman/girl, eating a double cheeseburger. The shot is held for the entirety of the process, the young girl is sanctified by the neon world in which she is standing. This shot had me, after seeing a lot of very ordinary films that week, in rapture. The clarity of the cinematography and the audacity to engage me in what is a very long film (197 minutes), in fact its length may in fact be its genius. The first half in glorious colour, examining the nature of thwarted desire, the second half in magnificent monochrome dealing with thwarted desire. A film packed with beautiful images and intriguing juxtapositions offers the viewer a re-view of Christian iconography as striking as renaissance painting, the delight as we follow characters both enigmatic and engaging is eventually turned into a duet of spectator and spectacle with a soundtrack dancing around the pas de deux. From the family romance as critique of melodrama (Sirk, anyone?) to the restless journey to the end of the night, the film demands attention.
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