Winning the Silver Lion for best director at the Venice Film Festival this year for Wife of a Spy is only the latest accomplishment of the prolific Japanese genre director Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Having risen through the ranks of pinku ega and direct-to-video filmmaking in the 1980s, Kurosawa has become an enthralling filmmaker and a rare but deft conduit of genre cinema, able to move from Yakuza tale to thriller, from dark comedy to science fiction and the musical. Brought to international renown during the early 2000s J-horror trend, Kurosawa is too frequently pigeon-holed as a horror filmmaker, when in fact his style of cinema ranges far wider. Fascinated by human nature, especially its capacity for curiosity and malevolence, Kurosawa’s cinema is not so much about ghosts as they are the many permutations of being haunted. Straddling a rare line between mainstream and art-house cinema, Kurosawa’s films are evocative, slow-burning stories replete in an eerie, charged atmosphere in which no one ever seems fully safe. His worlds are always off-kilter: something is amiss, awry, and strange. Curtains flutter ominously, the spaces of houses have the depth of mazes, the past is never truly buried, and empty warehouses—a beloved motif of the filmmaker—are like the abandoned landscape of a dystopian world. It is up to us to determine the source of what has gone wrong: A crime, a death, an errant quest for happiness? Perhaps human civilization itself contains the seeds to transform the world into a spectral one full of unexpected (and sometimes sinister) possibilities. Unforgettably rich in atmosphere and mystery whatever the genre or setting, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s unique oeuvre sees our world for what it may be: The truly uncanny place in which we live.