This lugubrious auteur-piece won a top prize at Cannes (from the same jury that gave its Grand Prix to Wild at Heart) - a decision not greeted with universal enthusiasm. It's a weird adaptation of an 'I-novel' by Toshio Shimao about the near break-up of a marriage in the 1950s. Oguri's answer to the problem of dramatising the novel's committed subjectivity is to adopt an oppressive degree of stylisation: lingering static compositions and performances that come from some deeply sedated fog of the mind. Some Japanese critics took it as black comedy, but Oguri's earlier movies (Muddy River, For Kayako) don't suggest a very developed sense of humour.
Cast and crew