Rotten Tomatoes
Cancel Movies Tv shows Shop News Showtimes

Heat Shimmer Theatre

1981 2h 19m Fantasy Romance Mystery & Thriller List
Reviews 72% Audience Score 50+ Ratings A mysterious woman invites a playwright to meet her for a romantic rendezvous. Read More Read Less

Critics Reviews

View All (1) Critics Reviews
Fernando F. Croce Slant Magazine Kageroza's alternate title, Heat-Haze Theatre, perfectly illustrates the ineffable sensuality and perverse randomness of Seijun Suzuki's late-period arabesque. Rated: 3/4 Mar 7, 2006 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (6) audience reviews
nick s The second film of Taisho Trilogy clarifies several points I remained dubious about after watching Zigeunerweisen and Yumeji. This trilogy is an example of substantially visual cinema where the logic and storyline are abandoned, in order to prioritize the imporatance of the mood and shocking stylistic beauty of the shots. Seijun Suzuki used to say "I make movies which make no sense and no money", and this is true. Watching Zigeunerweisen, I was struggling to understand where do the twists of plot and expression lead and what is the idea behind it. Kagero-za or Heat-Hazed Theatre makes it transparent there was apparently something Suzuki implied, but it would remain incognizable as there are numerous ways to interpret the tale. Kagero-Za is another psychological surrealistic tale in this trilogy. The plot is a formality as it never gets too clear. We follow the story of playwright Matsuzaki (portrayed by Yusaku Matsuda) who encounters his different mistresses, one of whom appears to be the wife of rich businessman Tamawaki (Katsuo Nakamura) who wants protagonist dead. Heroes pass away and appear again. In Zigeunerweisen I was still wondering what that supposed to mean, but with Kagero-Za I realized these are the actual fantasy ghosts who might bear symbolic meaning. The protagonists talk in one location, and in the next shot show up somewhere else. They jump from topic to topic, the dialogues are bizarre making both conversations and plot incoherent - though, this is something Suzuki has been trying to achieve. Kagero-Za resembles a deranged dream or plot of a kabuki play. At some point, we actually see the events might be nothing but the new play of Matsuzaki who is seeking for the new story. We see awkward scenes on the theatre stage, and playwright observes them too. Perhaps, the whole story is like that - just a fantasy of Matsuzaki told in a surrealistic way. What is Suzuki brilliant in is coming up with the fresh ideas of his shots. Dozens of shots require studying and might be considered art objects. The usage of vivid traditional paintings Suzuki employs is striking and spectacular, making the film's visuality pretty impressive. Camera work and montage also follow the lead of Suzuki's bizarre visual code. Again and again, Suzuki creates mise-en-scene of stunning beauty. The scenes and shots are often not linked to each other with any sort of explanation, but they are perfect with no respect to the story. Kagero-Za is not a film of non-linear plot and not a non-plot film either. It is an attempt to reject any sort of dictate created by traditional view on the films and necessity of coherent plot and background. Highly experimental and visually appealing work of Suzuki is meant to make neither sense, nor money. But the aesthetics of Suzuki should be acclaimed as something rare and remarkable. This aesthetic will lead him to the third and last film of the trilogy Yumeji which I regard as the best part of Suzuki's surrealistic Taisho films. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member There is nary a boring scene, and many captivating holy-shit scenes, but the formlessness detracts from what could be a truly great film. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Audience Member ã¦ã 1/4ã­ã,¹ãã 1/4ã,¹ã§ã<ã¥ã 1/4ã-ãªã³ãç観てきãã,ã,·ãã,»ã, 3/4ã³ã (R)DEEP SEIJUNã<ã,ç´10å¹´æ¯ã,だ(R)ã,¹ã,¯ãªã 1/4ã³é''è³â¦ã,æ 3/4ç"°åªä 1/2とåç"°è³é>ãåã~ç"»é¢ã«ãã,<だã'でããªã,"だã<ææ...¨æ·±ãã,(åé¡ï 1/4é(TM) 1/2ç,座 ç>£ç£ï 1/4é´æ¨æ¸...é ) Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/30/23 Full Review Audience Member Kagero-za (??? Kager?-za?, aka Heat-Haze Theatre) is a 1981 independent Japanese film directed by Seijun Suzuki and based on a novel by Ky?ka Izumi. It forms the middle section of Suzuki's Taish? Roman Trilogy, preceded by Zigeunerweisen (1980) and followed by Yumeji (1991), surrealistic psychological dramas and ghost stories linked by style, themes and the Taish? period (1912-1926) setting. All were produced by Genjiro Arato. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/14/23 Full Review Audience Member Like Zigeunerweisen, this was too incomprehensible and random, but not in that fun, Branded to Kill way. More like the boring, annoying way. Nonsensical edits, unmotivated emotional reactions, abstracted dialogue, deliberately confusing chronology. It's the kind of thing people make fun of when they mock art films. I was actually fighting to stay awake. Suzuki does manage some intriguing visuals, especially during the climax. But it's not enough to save the film. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 01/17/23 Full Review Audience Member totally nuts. I liked this one a lot more that the first part of the trilogy. Lots of traditional dance and theater type stuff going on, lots or set piece type back round....the story itself was pretty odd, a bit hard to follow for me....but then so is Bunel and Jodorowsky as well, for me anyway...even compared with Suzuki's Pistol Opera i thought this was sort of more vague. but good. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Heat Shimmer Theatre

My Rating


Cast & Crew

Movie Info

Synopsis A mysterious woman invites a playwright to meet her for a romantic rendezvous.
Seijun Suzuki
Yôzô Tanaka
Fantasy, Romance, Mystery & Thriller
Original Language
Release Date (Streaming)
Aug 30, 2017
2h 19m