Eros Plus Massacre in his filmography will have my attention -- but we'll get to that one later. We start with a project Yoshida undertook for a star actress, hia future wife Mariko Okada, who had taken a hand in the production of her 100th movie. Okada was busy, not old; she was only 29 at the time, but the milestone was a big deal for the publicity department of the Shichoku studio and gets a separate credit even before the studio logo appears. I wasn't familiar with the name or the face at first, but a filmography search revealed that I had seen her in Hiroshi Inagaki's "Samurai" trilogy from the 1950s. I'll be seeing a lot more of her in Yoshida's work, and after Akitsu Springs that sounds like a good thing.
To give you a full sense of the pictorial richness of Akitsu Springs I could take screencaps until I wouldn't know when to stop. The picture's plot might sound conventional or cliched to some, but Yoshida's direction makes it visually compelling from beginning to end. Whether the director lives up to this early triumph remains to be seen -- by me, that is. Expect to see more of him here in the months to come.
For now, check out the original Japanese trailer, uploaded to YouTube by TheAsianVisionS. No subtitles, alas: Akitsu Springs was never released commercially in the U.S., and only had its film festival premiere in 2005! After seeing the film, that fact becomes a mystery.