What strange deceptions lurk beneath the placid veneer of the average Japanese family? Horror maestro Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s unexpected—but wholly rewarding—foray into family melodrama-cum-black comedy quivers with an undercurrent of dread as salaryman dad (Teruyuki Kagawa) loses his job and desperately attempts to maintain the illusion that he’s still employed; his grade-school son (Kai Inowaki) rebels by secretly taking (gasp!) piano lessons; and mom (Kyōko Koizumi) finds what she’s been looking for with her own kidnapper. The elegant long shots of Akiko Ashizawa toy with the meticulous framings of Ozu as Kurosawa guides the film through a series of increasingly audacious tonal shifts. An NYFF46 selection.
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