Long before the events of the movie Ôki, who was approaching middle age, had a relationship with 16-year-old Otoko. She got pregnant, but the child was stillborn. Their relationship ended then. Much later Ôki became a famous writer, and Otoko a famous painter. But she never overcame the trauma and instead became a lesbian. Her favourite student and beloved one is the beautiful Keiko. 24 years after their initial love affair Ôki goes to Kyoto to meet Otoko. Their meeting is polite with secret emotional shadows. Keiko devises a plan. She intends to seduce Ôki, become pregnant, bear Ôki’s child and give it to Otoko. She hopes that Otoko may thereby be rid of her trauma. But she also wants to take her revenge on the man who had harmed her beloved. Secretly she gets acquainted with Ôki’s son, invites him to Kyoto and seduces him. Then she calls his parents and tells them that he have promised to marry her. Horrified, they take the first plane to Kyoto. Meanwhile, she takes the son boating and arranges an accident. —IMDb
Masahiro Shinoda is one of the most prominent filmmakers of the Japanese New Wave, along with Nagisa Oshima and Shohei Imamura. While Oshima’s films were often a venue for political provocation and Imamura’s work seemed to be a bawdy refutation of Yasujiro Ozu’s refined passivity, Shinoda’s movies detail the spiritual emptiness of post-war Japanese life and search for some essence of the Japanese character.
Shinoda was born into one of the most illustrious families in central Gifu Prefecture in 1931. His ancestors were large landowners and village leaders of a small town that is now part of Gifu City. They also had a long literary and cultural heritage. His great uncle was the model for the main character in one of Toson Shimazaki’s novels, and Shinoda’s cousin is one of Japan’s leading abstract calligraphers. As a child, Shinoda was studious, applying himself to mathematics and physics; but by the end of World War II, he experienced the same sort of bitter disillusionment as… read more
A tale of love,desire and revenge, it's intensity is as fierce as the obsessions and repressed desires of it's characters and even though it's set in contemporary times the story is told like a ghost fable of sorts !!! The symmetric compositions, static shots coupled with frequent camera pans create an atmosphere of claustrophobia ; spaces where movement is restricted, which reflects the shackled passions of the characters straining to break free ! A devastatingly brilliant film...and the performance of Mariko Kaga....*speechless*