My first movie of 2010, and ho-lee shit!  War-torn Japan.  A destitute mother and her daughter-in-law, with nary a moral fiber between them, murder samurai and sell the belongings for food.  Mom gets pissed when her son is killed in battle and his best friend returns unharmed, only to make a play for her son’s new widow.  The old woman is visited by a samurai in a demon mask who torments her and…

…look, I had In-N-Out for lunch today, and unless someone slipped acid in my burger, I’ve lost it.  Weird suggestions of incest, warrior ghosts, exquisite b&w photography, abstract angles, and enough uplighting to make Angelina Jolie look like Bea Arthur after the slab.  This movie is nuts, shockingly awesome, and clearly requires a second viewing to sort everything out.  Highly recommended, especially if you can figure out what the hell is going on.

1965; starring Nobuko Otowa, Jitsuko Yoshimura; directed by Kaneto Shindo; 103 min; Not Rated (for mature audiences); in Japanese w/ English subtitles; available on Criterion.

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