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Double Suicide (1969)


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This drama from Masahiro Shinoda is based on the Chikamatsu Monzaemon play and has an excellent traditional Japanese-style score from Toru Takemitsu. I liked that the elements of Japanese theater were retained such as the black-cloaked singers who act as a sort of Greek chorus that progresses the story forward. I also liked that Shima Iwashita portrays both the prostitute object of his desire and the man's ill-treated wife- the two women completely destroyed by his selfish, hedonist actions. While the plot isn't particularly complex or new (a man being torn between his wife and a lover is as old as time itself) what made this film stand out to me was the beautiful cinematography and the interesting Kabuki and Noh-inspired scenery and acting. The suicide of the lovers also manages to be beautifully shot and poetic.

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