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Its moody and atmospheric, but also very static. I couldn't get into this film, it felt a bit slow. I don't consider it a good film.
Masahiro Shinoda's odd re-working of Camus' 'The Stranger' within the 1960's Japanese Yakuza world of vice and gambling is more style than substance.
Masao Kosugi's artful cinematography blended with Yûji Takahashi and
Tôru Takemitsu musical score creates an atmosphere that is more "cool" than paranoid. Less a "thriller" than an interesting "experience."
"Pale Flower" offers a great deal more than it feels like it should. Excellent.
One of the more unique of the yakuza movies, really offers a slice of the obsessive and lonely directioneless life of one man who becomes obsessed with this girl but then not entirely. The protagonist was particularly gripping all throughout.
Breathtaking cinematography befitting a noir of this high caliber!
Muraki has just been let out of prison for a gangland killing but finds that his boss now has a truce with the enemy gang. He shrugs it off, as his interest it taken up by a mysterious lady gambler who is bored enough by life to try anything. Muraki tags along, sort of drifting through the underworld. Masahiro Shinoda creates a stylish "new wave" environs for this tired hard-boiled yakuza to haunt, all moody high contrast B&W. The gambling dens where they play hanafuda (a sort of Japanese blackjack with wooden cards) are just parts of the void where time and money disappear. In the end, to an English-language opera by Purcell, Muraki carries out one last job, to show his lady gambler true nihilism. This film created the mould that later yakuza films would seek to fill.
How is it that I have never seen this Film Noir, Japanese New Wave masterpiece? Wow, just wow. This movie is all dark style, beautiful and deadly and great. See it! Available on Hulu Plus.
A newly-paroled Yakuza member (who served time for murder) goes into his old gambling haunts then befriends and falls in love with a mysterious female gambler. This films reminds me of Wong Kar-Wai with its beautiful cinematography and lowkey/chaste love story. It's surprisingly largely non-violent for a film centering on the Yakuza but still manages to have an aura of tension about it. Violence can explode at many minute! I wasn't completely blown away by it but it's still a worthwhile piece of work.
a fresh, unique take on the yakuza films of that time. the characters are not atypical, but the focus of this story really is. clan rivalry and looming violence permeates the story but the heart of it is about a romanticism that never quite finds its expression. the film is about the romantic timidity of otherwise confident and assertive people. the climax is so effective as we never really find out what we thought we wanted to know about "the pale flower" of the gangster world, but we're somehow ok with that because our main character is ok with that. a great film.
This is an amazing movie and I simply cannot recommend it enough for lovers of film noir and Japanese cinema.
Shinoda's gangster flick Pale Flower is riveting with intensity, an established setting, and themes of evil and death tightly wound into a perfect artistic delivery. The iconic dream sequence clearly depicts the film's artistic value at its highest.