Eros Plus Massacre is a deliberately difficult film, but it's also the work of a pictorial genius. Nearly every frame is an impeccable composition incorporating meticulous set design. Even if the ideas elude you and the actors don't earn your empathy, the picture is thrilling to look at. Working with cinematographer Motokichi Hasegawa, Yoshida films in an often deliberately washed-out monochrome evocative of faded photographs, giving an impression of pastness even while filming on modern locations. He plays freely with space and proportion, often placing the actors far left or right of center, or near the bottom of the screen, daring emptiness to dominate the frame. He also films action brilliantly, from a surreal rugby game with an urn of Osugi's ashes as the ball to the labyrinthine tracking shots as Osugi's attacker stalks him through a house whose walls eventually collapse in all directions.
Toshi Ichiyanagi's score perfectly expresses the film's juxtaposition of romanticism and moder discordance. The cast, led as usual by Yoshida's wife Mariko Okada as Noe Ito, is solid. The film's too long for me to go on synopsizing it, and to be honest, I don't feel that I got all of what Yoshida meant to say. But I feel confident that there's more to get, and that Eros Plus Massacre is a film that will reward multiple viewings both visually and intellectually.