Dr. Akagi - B-
Viewed September 28, 1998 at Alice Tully Hall during the New York Film Festival

Shohei Imamura's followup to The Eel is a more enjoyable film than his Palme D'Or winner -- the quirkiness feels more organic this time, and the title character's obsessive hunt for the hepatitus virus is a more intriguing narrative hook. And Dr. Akagi's belief that everyone in Japan is suffering from hepatitus makes for the goofiest metaphor I've seen in a film in quite some time. But it works, thanks to a brilliant final shot suggesting the final outcome of the mad militarism of WWII-era Japan (and, I suspect, the rest of the world).