Aroview: Visually stunning evocation of the tensions in a samurai-training school in 1860s Japan, with Kitano playing a captain who agonises over his homoerotic feelings for a young trainee.
Filmed with a 'studio atmosphere' akin to QUERELLE, this crafts an appropriately austere thriller, with touches of deadpan humour, out of the enclosed world of martial arts training. Music by Ryuichi Sakamoto.
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4 stars (Very Good) The highly distorted world of the bushido code is thrown into sharp relief with a steady flow of routine murders and executions. Shame, fear & jealousy take centre-stage, no time for kimono cruising.~Regando