By Ken Tucker
Updated March 10, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST

The three films directed by Seijun Suzuki in the Taisho TrilogyZigeunerweisen, Kagero-za, and Yumeji — are set in 1920s Japan (the title derives from the brief, relatively liberal period of Japanese ”Taisho democracy”). Suzuki had a hip rep as the creator of violent ’60s genre flicks, but with this trio he found a new style. Each revolves around a man obsessed with an unattainable woman and the dissolution that results. There are moments of Beckett-style absurdism — two guys pounding each other into the sand until their heads disappear in Zigeunerweisen, for example. Suzuki tapped uniquely into the madness of love; the films are at once hypnotic, disorienting, sloppy, and bursting with energy.

EXTRAS Minimal: a skimpy interview with Suzuki.

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