Fresh out of the slammer, Togawa (Branded to Kill’s rough-and-ready Joe Shishido) has no chance to go straight because he is immediately coerced by a wealthy mob boss into organizing a heist on an armored car carrying racetrack receipts. After assembling a ragtag bunch to carry out the robbery, Togawa learns that all is not what it seems in Takumi Furukawa’s thriller. Cue the double (and triple) crosses!
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.