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Classics and discoveries from around the world, thematically programmed with special features, on a streaming service brought to you by the Criterion Collection.
Directed by Masaaki Yuasa • 2004 • Japan
Starring Koji Imada, Sayaka Maeda, Takashi Fujii
Buckle in and surrender yourself to an exhilarating and wildly entertaining ride. Cult favorite MIND GAME is an explosion of unconstrained expression—gloriously colorful images ricochet off one another in rapid fire free-association, like visionary director Masaaki Yuasa’s brain splattered across the screen in all its imaginatively loopy glory. Audiences will begin to grasp what they are in for early on as loser Nishi, too wimpy to try to save his childhood sweetheart from gangsters, is shot in the rear end by a soccer-playing psychopath, projecting Nishi into the afterlife. In this limbo, God—depicted as a series of rapidly changing characters—tells him to walk toward the light. But Nishi runs like hell in the other direction and returns to Earth a changed man, driven to live each moment to the fullest.