Much like the shadows Terayama employs to achieve filmic and psychic effects, the film’s underlying meaning is perpetually out of reach—it oscillates from childhood innocence to the throes of sexual passion.
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As in the remarkable book of Adelbert von Chamisso's "The Man Who Sold his Shadow", this film is an exercise on the possibilities of the shadow as a theme and how it can motivate cinema as an essay. More than about the doppelgänger, it's a projection of the self- a strictly cinematic matter- that in misfortune creates a space for pure representation, that only through the cinema of the shadows is obtained.