The aesthetic of photographer and director Mika Ninagawa is gaudy to the nth degree. She crowds blood-red roses into her frame like crammed commuters in a rush-hour train. When she makes it rain, her actors may as well be standing under Niagara Falls.
This may seem un-Japanese to some, but the flip side of monks peacefully raking leaves on quiet temple grounds is raucous festivals with colorful floats. Also gaudy are the manga that explore the ero (erotic) and guro (grotesque) in various combinations — and have served as sources for Ninagawa’s two previous films: “Sakuran” (2007) and “Helter Skelter” (2012).