Zigeunerweisen

Seijun Suzuki's hypnotic and extraordinarily beautiful film evokes the late 1920s as a period of changing mores in Japan akin to Weimar Germany. Suzuki weds French Surrealism to Japanese ghost story (with a bit of German Expressionism thrown in to make it a ménage à trois) for a story that actually involves a ménage à cinq. A Japanese professor of German on vacation in a seaside resort is drawn, through an old university acquaintance, into a bizarre sexual pentangle involving a geisha and a woman who resembles her exactly (both are played by Naoko Otani), as well as his own wife. Denizens of the supernatural appear to roam comfortably in the free-spirited universe in which the professor finds himself. The title refers to Sarasate's violin composition, a piece that haunts this film both as an element of its story and in the score.

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