Volunteering as a "comfort woman" on the Manchurian front, where she is expected to service hundreds of soldiers, Harumi is commandeered by the brutal Lieutenant Narita but falls for the sensitive Mikami, Narita's direct subordinate. Seijun Suzuki's Story of a Prostitute is a tragic love story as well as a rule-bending take on a popular Taijiro Tamura novel, challenging military and fraternal codes of honor, as seen through Harumi's eyes.
With his lush and sensual visuals, pitch-perfect soundtracks, and soulful romanticism, Wong Kar Wai has established himself as one of the defining auteurs of contemporary cinema.
“No one sees anything. Ever. They watch, but they don’t understand.” So observes Connie Nielsen in Olivier Assayas’s hallucinatory, globe-spanning Demonlover, a postmodern neonoir thriller and media critique in which nothing—not even the film itself—is what it appears to be.
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
An intoxicating, time-bending experience bathed in the golden glow of oil lamps and wreathed in an opium haze, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s gorgeous period reverie traces the romantic intrigue, jealousies, and tensions swirling around a late 19th century Shanghai brothel, where the courtesans live confined to a gilded cage, ensconced in opulent splendor yet forced to work to buy back their freedom.