Yoshida returned to the melodrama—this time synthesizing elements of the horror film in the process—with this chronicle of a woman’s suddenly swelling desire for her child’s biological father. Shingo (Isao Kimura) is unable to impregnate his wife Ritsuko (a brilliantly restrained Mariko Okada), so the couple turns to artificial insemination in order to have their child. The procedure is a success, but as time goes on, Ritsuko finds herself increasingly drawn toward the mystery man whose sperm allowed her to get pregnant. One of Yoshida’s most visually fragmentary works, Flame and Women takes on a decidedly unconventional subject and mesmerizingly renders it so as to tease out the enigmatic, subterranean currents of its protagonist’s predicament. Print courtesy of the Japan Foundation.