Muesum of the Moving Image's Mizoguchi retrospective has all the usual suspects, and the rarely seen, including Miyamoto Musashi, a stark 51 minute tale of the legendary ronin who invented two-sword combat. Banned from view by censors in 1944, Miyamoto's brutal confusions of justice (clarified in one stroke at the end) were underlined by emergent feminism that worried the leadership. It hinted women might be the next bearers of arms in a population rapidly depleting of men. The plot's best left to the film, but this short film directly follows the four times longer 47 Ronin, a massive hit in a war suffused country. Where 47 Ronin was restrained, court-intrigued, this is roadside violence. A must see despite the 16mm print. A real rarity.
"My time in Episode Two was marred only by the persistent, suffocating suspicion that I at no time had a solid idea of who I was, what I was doing or why I was doing it. As long as I stayed in the moment and focused on immediate goals I could keep up, but the second I attempted to question the story even a bit more holistically, my eyes started to water and my nose started to bleed (metaphorically speaking)."