Ritual ★★★★★

"Now this is some real fucking cinema." - Martin Scorsese, probably.

My 1 billionth rewatch. I may secretly love this movie more than Last Life in the Universe. Such a unique film experience. Poetic, heartbreaking, and completely indifferent to convention.

The photography is absurdly beautiful, the editing without fault. The main piano theme couldn't be more perfect. Each time it plays, it's more haunting than the last.

How many weeks of location scouting was done in preparation for this thing? There's not a space that doesn't feel made just for this film, even during the guerilla-style digicam sequences.

Co-writer/star Ayako Fujitani out-Manic Pixie Dream Girls even Faye Wong. Her character is full of life and heartache and longing and restlessness and determination. Seeing Shunji Iwai in front of the camera and opposite of her is such a treat. The perfect straight man/audience stand in.

Hideaki Anno, please keep making live action movies and do more of this.

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