I had seen this film before, but I couldn't remember a fucking thing about it, so I figured it was time to watch it a second time. I'm trying to only watch new movies, or like in this case, a movie I've seen but can't really remember any details. There's quite a few of these, especially black and white japanese films, I watched them all in a big chunk while in college and they've sort of blended into one film. I'm sorta surprised I didn't remember anything about this movie because it's really PRETTY STUNNING. The story of the play is based on a bunraku (PUPPETS!) play from back in the day. In line with the source material, the movie consistantly harks back to its theater roots, the sets moving about as you would see in theater, black masked "puppet" operaters moving throughout the scene (AND BEING CREEPY AS HELL!!), and the opening behind the scenes sequence consisting of people setting up the "play." Oh man! The sets are beautiful. They consist of huge scrims (walls?) with large characters on them and the paint drips in a way reminiscent of blood. The town, consisting of narrow passageways, is incredibly suffocating, enchacing the social system suffocating the two lovers. As do the shots of the town, made up of right angles and repeating patterns. The plot, consisting of a married man and a courtesan in love and their plans to kill themselves if he cannot redeem her before a more wealthy merchant does so. EVERY SCENE HAS CRYING! It's really kind of incredible, the amount of crying in this movie. I mean, its called Double Suicide so that really shouldn't be a surprise BUT STILL. When they finally escape from the town and its the first time we see the outdoors in a long time, they go to a field, finally free to kill themselves. It gives the sense of an incredible freedom. All in all, I thought this movie was beautiful.
GOD DAMN IT JAPAN! You just CAN'T build bridges like that!