Taboo ★★★★½

The Mizoguchi tributes are apparent even before it flat out references Ugetsu, but this is pure Oshima, that knife-edge balance of the serenely dispassionate and the chaotically sexual. Ryuhei Matsuda is perfect as the blank-eyed cipher whose good looks drive a regiment of samurai to horny ruin, so soft-spoken and passive that you don't quite clock the mounting number of lies and manipulations he tells until it's too late. Oshima shoots the various sparring matches with such patience that it takes a while to clock how well he uses them as an outlet for the battles of wits that regularly pit Kano against whatever peer or superior is currently attempting to woo him. And in the end, just a hilarious depiction of period-film homosexuality where being gay is not grounds for ostracism but making all the fellas too horny for discipline is.