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In this cool, seductive jewel of the Japanese New Wave, a yakuza, fresh out of prison, becomes entangled with a beautiful and enigmatic gambling addict. What at first seems a redemptive relationship ends up leading him further down the criminal path. Bewitchingly shot and edited, and laced with a fever-dreamlike score by Toru Takemitsu, this gangster romance was a breakthrough for the idiosyncratic Masahiro Shinoda. The pitch-black Pale Flower is an unforgettable excursion into the underworld. (Dir.: Masahiro Shinoda, Japan, 1964, 96 min., B&W, 35mm, Japanese with English subtitles)