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Cinematic surrealism has a long pedigree, going back to such early outrages as Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali’s “Un Chien Andalou” (1929) and “L’Age d’Or” (1930), whose arresting images (the razor slashing a woman’s eyeball in the former being the most notorious) and abandonment of reality created an enduring template. Among the latest to use it, consciously or not, is director Jun Tanaka in “Bamy,” a first feature that screened in competition at last year’s Torino Film Festival.

The film begins as the latest J-horror, with a big debt to genre master Kiyoshi Kurosawa. But Tanaka, who also wrote the script, is not after standard genre shocks. His ghosts are shadowy presences, not jack-in-the-box frights. And they respond to sounds and even to physical force, unlike the ethereal spooks of most films, J-horror or otherwise.

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