Odd Obsession | Chicago Reader

Odd Obsession

Kon Ichikawa's kinky black comedy in 'Scope (1959, 96 min.) adapts the powerful Junichiro Tanizaki novel The Key, in which an old man tries to revive his virility by arranging various sexual encounters for his own vicarious enjoyment—especially one between his younger wife and a doctor. The novel alternates between the old man's diary entries and the wife's; Ichikawa's more straightforward narrative method doesn't do justice to all the ironies, but this is a still a singular and memorable movie, and the great Machiko Kyo is a particular standout as the wife. Almost a quarter century later, Ichikawa returned to Tanizaki's work for The Makioka Sisters. In Japanese with subtitles.

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