Heat-Haze Theatre

Synopsis: A 1920s playwright meets a beautiful woman who may be the ghost of his patron's deceased wife.
Director(s): Seijun Suzuki
  4 wins & 4 nominations.
139 min



Executive Producer

Genjiro Arato

Produced by Kenji Ito

Screenplay by Yozo Tanaka

Original Story

Kyoka lzumi


Kazue Nagatsuka


Yusaku Matsuda

Michiyo Okusu

Emiko Azuma

Eriko Kusuda

Asao Sano

lsao Tamagawa

Mariko Kaga

Ryutaro Otomo

Yoshio Harada

Katsuo Nakamura

Directed by Seijun Suzuki

Would you mind terribly?

If you're going to the hospital,

would you please escort me?

Ah, sorry.

That's not where I'm going.

Is that so?

Is there any reason

you can't go alone?

I'm scared.

Scared of that old woman

who sells bladder cherries.

A vendor, you say?

I don't see any old woman.

She was there

in the rising vapour.

There's no one there now.

I bought one from her.

It cost 50 sen.

50 sen?

That's rather expensive.

She told me...

...she was selling

'women's souls'.

She asked if I wanted

to hear their cries.

I'm sorry, but do I know you?

Have we met before?


Womens' souls, you say?

I paid the 50 sen

and the old woman said to me,

"Don't visit your friend.

She can't be saved."

That made me very afraid.

So I fled.

That's why you talked to me?

Yes. I suddenly felt so alone.

What will you do now?

About your friend.

The woman is gone.

You can go on alone now.

Good point.

- But I'm not going to.

- You're not?

The visit. I don't wish to.

I've suddenly changed my mind.

What a waste!

They're so beautiful.

They represent my compassion.

My friend will dream of them.

A woman once swallowed

a bladder cherry and died.

First she became ill.

Then she vomited blood.

But she was relieved to vomit.

Half the bladder cherry

came back up.

Then she vomited again.

The bladder cherry was melting away.

She was so pleased!

Is that true?

Did she die?

This is annoying.

It was definitely somewhere here.

I dropped a letter

I received from a lady.

Some good-for-nothing

may have picked it up.

What's that letter?

I picked it up near here.

Give it back.

So you're Shunko Matsuzaki.

A love letter

from a married woman!

You're a sinful fellow,

Mr Matsuzaki.

Give it back.

You told me a scary story.

Accept this as punishment.

Am I to consider this your soul?

I found those flowers

at the cemetery.

I took one from each of the bouquets

offered on the graves,

to place by the pillow

of my sick friend.

If you wish to own the soul of someone

who would do such a thing, be my guest.

What was her name?

I don't really know.

It might be a month ago,

three months, or even a year.

It feels somehow lost in time.

Flowers from a cemetery?

That's like asking

her friend to die!

If you're ever hospitalized

I'll give you the same.

- Flowers reeking of incense!

- That's an unpleasant thing to say.

I'm more intrigued

by this person in the hospital.

Who was she taking the flowers to?

A man? Her husband?

A lover she was about to out loose?

None of those. It was a woman.

Grave flowers for a lady.

Did you ever see her again?

I didn't fall on purpose.

You shouldn't treat

the elderly so roughly.

You have no luck with old women.

It feels like

I'm going to be beheaded.


Her hand touched my hair.

I can't stand thinking about it.

That's cold.

It chills my bones.

Like being cut.

Mr Matsuzaki.

This feels wonderful.

How will you explain this

to your waiting husband?

You've let your hair down.

Not to mention that

it's soaking wet.

He may think you've betrayed him.

I'll tell him the truth.

It doesn't matter.

If he doesn't believe me...

What will you do?

Well, what shall we do?

Mr Matsuzaki.

Women aren't as weak

as you may think.

That was the last time?

No. We met once more.

It sounds like fate.

I was drinking with friends at Omori.

I don't recall clearly what happened.

All I remember is

that I was standing down there.

I've been expecting you.

Come in, darling.

It's you.

Why are you here?

Your servant brought me.

Oh my.

What do you want me to do?

Go home?

You're expecting someone else.

Don't let me be a nuisance.

- I'll go home.

- Don't.

Sorry if I offended you.

The night is lonely.

Keep me company.

But I've crossed the river.

My clothes are wet and dirty.

I'll dirty your mats.

You don't mind?

You really don't mind?

Who were you waiting for?

Is your husband away again?

Beautiful, isn't it?

The one you were awaiting

may be coming here even now.

I don't care.

You came in his place.

"In his place?"

Does that bother you,

being second choice?

Let's have a drink.

Three times in a row

is more than coincidence.

It's downright creepy.

- Are you scared?

- Yes.

Like you were scared

of the bladder cherry vendor.

You're starting to scare me.

I'm not that old woman.

But you're both hiding

your true selves.

My true self?

Then get to know it.


The closer I try to get,

the more you retreat.

If I try to hold you...

What will happen to us?

I won't know until it happens.

You're a strange woman.

You think so?

You, you mm

Flowers from a cemetery.

Meeting your husband

while soaking wet.

I suppose I am.

I'm strange.

You're a liar.

You're telling lies.

You aren't married.

There was no sick friend.

Am I right?


It's time to show yourself to me.

Did you see her true self, then?


It was as brief as fireworks.

Who lit them?

I did. And that's all it was.

Are you sure?

Absolutely positive.

I can't even remember

where her house was.


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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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