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Ensemble dramas about the ups and downs of love, and its various substitutes, are popular now — at least with indie filmmakers. (A contrast to Japan’s commercial romantic dramas, which still focus on star-crossed couples, one of whom is usually dead by the closing credits.)

A recent example of this popularity is Hitoshi One’s high-energy, close-to-farcical “Koi no Uzu (Be My Baby),” whose central characters are drifting along society’s margins. Another is Daisuke Miura’s similarly titled “Ai no Uzu (Love’s Whirlpool),” which follows a sex party of strangers from its awkward beginning to a bittersweet end. (Miura also scripted the former, quite different-in-tone film.)

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