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Information

A.k.a.
Double Suicide
Year
1969
Runtime
142 min.
Director
Masahiro Shinoda
Genre
Drama
Rating *
7.8
Votes *
1,622
Checks
612
Favs
47
Dislikes
8
Favs/checks
7.7% (1:13)
Favs/dislikes
6:1
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. Siskoid's avatar

    Siskoid

    Masahiro Shinoda's Double Suicide is an amazing piece of film-making, in particular in terms of style, but I think the fiasco of a romance at the center of the plot is interesting too. A paper merchant (a well chosen profession that allows for poetic language like his paper-thin excuses, etc.), though married, is in love with a courtesan; it is mutual. He longs to ransom her from the whore house, but it's too expensive and a richer men may steal her away. The thrust of the action is how they and their kindly allies (including the very moral wife) try to prevent them from carrying out their suicide pact. Melodrama to be sure, but the theatricality of the story and acting are well supported by equally theatrical sets, and Shinoda is very playful in his adaptation of what is an 18th-Century play usually performed with shadow puppets. As the film starts, we hear recorded phone calls between the director and his crew, planning out the film. Moving in, it feels like he's shooting a live play, with delivery we associate with No or kabuki, until we move in closer yet and things come alive more naturalistically. Set changes between acts are represented by fast cutting through empty sets. But my favorite part by far is the presence of figures clad in black, invisible to the characters, who act as a combination of stage hands, telekinetic movement, narrator-observers, and angels of death. They create striking images throughout, and I have to admit to being particularly tickled because I did an improv show once where we simulated superhero powers with what we called mime-jas (in French mimja was a better pun), similar figures who went around the set and played the role of "powers" (discussed it at https://siskoid.blogspot.com/2009/03/phantasmic-four.html ). Turns out WE INVENTED NOTHING! I bow to the fatalistic Shinoda in this matter. Wow. 10 months ago
  2. Windill's avatar

    Windill

    Tells the story of a paper merchant who falls in love with a courtisane, bringing his family life into chaos.
    Spectacular photography.
    Really beautiful.
    1 year ago
  3. 3eyes's avatar

    3eyes

    Cip's link is gone. 5 years 8 months ago
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In 4 official lists

  1. This movie ranks #79 in Kinema Junpo's Top 200 Japanese Films
    Kinema Junpo's Top 200 Japanese Films's icon

    Kinema Junpo's Top 200 J…

    79
  2. This movie ranks #108 in The Criterion Collection
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    The Criterion Collection

    108
  3. This movie ranks #145 in Tom Vick's Asian Cinema: A Field Guide
    Tom Vick's Asian Cinema: A Field Guide's icon

    Tom Vick's Asian Cinema:…

    145
  4. This movie ranks #833 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown
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    Halliwell's Top 1000: Th…

    833
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