Takeshi Kitano rarely makes two films in the same vein on the trot. Following the US-set gangster movie Brother, this is possibly his most esoteric exercise in symbolist aesthetics, a triptych of forlorn love stories patterned after bunraku puppet theatre. Love, pain and devotion stories, to be more precise. A man and the woman he wronged wander across Japan tied together by a rope of red silk. In another, an aging yakuza boss remembers a girl he left behind. In the third, a disfigured pop star is tracked down by a fan who blinded himself in sympathy. Visually, it's spellbinding and entirely original - even if the stories get perilously close to sentimental kitsch.