A polar opposite to his ‘hard’ films like SONATINE (screening at Cornerhouse 6 & 7 Aug), the visually stunning DOLLS is in the more lyrical, introspective line of Kitano films. A performance of a bunraku puppet play opens the film and sets the stylised tone for the trio of love tragedies that follow. Matsumoto jilts his lover to further his career; now the pair roam Japan, joined forever by a red silk rope. An elderly yakuza boss recalls the love he sacrificed for success. Years later, he finds that she remains devoted to him. A young pop star hides away after a disfiguring accident, but her number one fan finds a way to meet her.