Cure ★★★★

Think I have the basic idea down: Mesmer-junior brings our worst impulses to the surface, in a notably inhibited Japan, and when the deeds are done it has an effect on both the memory of the person and the collective memory of society, warping time to some degree. But there are too many kinks in the machine to really understand this thing - why does husband from the beach kill his likeable wife, versus the clear motive of the disgruntled doctor or cop - and eventually the pattern breaks enough times to become an overt dream movie, from the psychologist who draws the X without “telling about himself” to the image of the bus moving across clouds as they approach the psychiatry center. Doesn’t really bother me that it’s a bunch of chilly signifiers rather than a cop movie since the formal elements are so at-one with the estranged characters - all master shots and characters moving like specks in the far distance, dialogue occasionally unattributable over the rumbling noise of a decaying world, and scenes proceeding out of conventional order so that we open on a potentially unsolvable Bluebeard corollary, then move to the traditional opening murder, then move to a peripheral character that doesn’t matter so much. Spliced-cuts of maddening nightmare images really do the trick, along with the villain who’s one of the great incarnations of this genre, a spaced out pop-star type using word repetition trances to bring about the apocalypse. Ultimately wish it withheld even more information from the audience since it becomes increasingly symbolic, a movie about collated mental health (imo) - the disease of a repressed society - but it’s just as well a sick joke. Unforgettably disturbing.

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