1964, Janus Films, 96 min, Japan, Dir: Masahiro Shinoda

Aging yakuza soldier Muraki (Ryô Ikebe) returns from prison to an underworld he barely recognizes. Rival gangs have joined forces and his lethal skills and fealty no longer seem necessary. Adrift as a modern-day ronin, Muraki encounters the beguiling and mysterious Saeko (Mariko Kaga) in a gambling den; her reckless craving for excitement pushes them to dangerous extremes they are unable, or unwilling, to resist. An electrifying masterpiece of existential noir, so sleek and sensual in its imagery, editing and soundtrack it’s almost impossible to believe it was made in 1964. Toru Takemitsu's amazing score artfully combines natural sound and music into a compelling sonic mosaic.

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