Directed by Seijun Suzuki • 1980 • Japan
Starring Toshiya Fujita, Naoko Otani, Yoshio Harada
After over a decade in the wilderness following his firing from Nikkatsu, maverick director Seijun Suzuki returned with a vengeance with the Taisho Trilogy, an acclaimed triptych of cryptic supernatural dramas set during the liberal enlightenment of Japan's Taisho Era (1912–26). In the first installment of the series, the multiple Japanese Academy Award–winning ZIGEUNERWEISEN (named after Pablo de Sarasate’s violin composition), two intellectuals and former colleagues from a military academy involve their wives in a series of dangerous sexual games. Rarely seen outside of Japan, the films in the Taisho Trilogy are considered Suzuki’s masterpieces in his homeland. Presenting a dramatic turn from his more familiar tales of cops, gangsters and unruly youth, these surreal psychological puzzles capture the pandemonium of a bygone age of decadence and excess, when Western ideas, fashions, technologies, and art began to be assimilated into traditional Japanese culture.