Pulse

Special admission prices apply: General admission, $10 until March 11, $11 on or after March 12; BAM/PFA and Center for Asian American Media members, $8; Students, seniors, and disabled persons, $9.

(Kairo). Kurosawa's dreamlike tale of the literal-and murderous-ghosts in the machine of contemporary life may be one of the eeriest, most influential works of the J-Horror wave, but it's also one of the most intriguingly philosophical examinations of modern “connected” culture. Through the electronic pulse of a modem hookup, something's coming into the computers of lonely Tokyo residents. “Would you like to meet a ghost?” a voice whispers as the site displays flickering images of individuals alone in a darkened room, kept company only by a monitor's light: they might as easily be either the living or the dead. Either way, “the connection is now open.” Kurosawa's astonishing set designs, from the countless darkened “living” rooms of Internet users to the apocalyptic, Tokyo-on-fire finale, are the stuff of genius (and nightmare), but it's the film's underlying refrain-“Will I just go on living? All alone?”-that harbors our darkest fears.

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