Aroview: A landmark of avant-garde Japanese cinema aims to replicate the startling aesthetic of traditional 'bunraku' puppetry in its enactment of an 18th century play by Monzaemon Chikamatsu.
Nakamaru plays a well-to-do businessman whose agonising downfall begins with an affair with a local prostitute, from which point he gradually loses control of his family and business empires. Through the action, dir. Shinoda weaves the presence of black-clad 'kurago' who manipulate the actors and action, as if it were happening 'onstage', producing an unsettling and fatalistic effect. Wonderful b&w visuals are the finishing touch.