#394: Pale Flower

zzp9d919hatmnnrrjgw8kf3wkuk#394 – Pale Flower, (乾いた花), 1964, Masahiro Shinoda
jp

Muraki, a hardboiled Yakuza gangster, has just been released from prison after serving a sentence for murder. Revisiting his old gambling haunts, he meets Saeko, a striking young upper-class woman who is out seeking thrills, and whose presence adds spice to the staid masculine underworld rituals. Muraki becomes her mentor while simultaneously coping with the shifts of power that have affected the gangs while he was interred. When he notices a rogue, drug-addicted young punk hanging around the gambling dens, he realizes that Saeko’s insatiable lust for intense pleasures may be leading her to self-destruction.

#929: Assassination

cw6mpswdaqluu1snov0ddzya5rd#929 – Assassination, (暗殺), 1964, Masahiro Shinoda
Japan

Assassination begins with the events of 1853 when “four black ships” anchored at Edo Bay, sparking civil unrest and the major political manoeuvring that saw the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate. At a time when assassination had become a disturbing political tool, Shinoda’s film follows Hachiro Kiyokawa (Tetsuro Tamba), an ambitious, masterless samurai whose allegiances drift dangerously between the Shogunate and the Emperor.

#944: Double Suicide

xacr5jggzswcnp3j3cuofhfpuou#944 – Double Suicide, (心中天網島), 1969, Masahiro Shinoda
Japan

Successful and married with children, paper-mill owner Jihei knows better than to contradict the strict social and moral codes of 18th-century Japan. But when he meets the lovely courtesan Koharu, he becomes a man obsessed. Koharu returns his love, even foregoing other customers while Jihei schemes to somehow buy her freedom. His efforts yield ruinous consequences for his business and his family life, and Koharu is meanwhile purchased by another client.