In the 1860s, androgynous 17-year-old swordsman Kano (Ryuhei Matsuda) is inducted into the Shogun’s Kyoto militia. Even those men “who are not so inclined” are struck by Kano’s beauty, and the rivalries of the youth’s would-be lovers soon disrupt discipline, leading the company’s superior officers (played by directors Takeshi Kitano and Yoichi Sai) to take action. Nagisa (In the Realm of the Senses) Oshima’s Taboo begins as a sort of historical expose, revealing the little-discussed homoerotic aspect of samurai camaraderie and continuing the director’s well-established fascination with the nexus between sex and death. As the film progresses, however, it becomes something of a ghost story, with many eerily blue-tinted night scenes and a coolly minimalist Ryuichi Sakamoto score. It’s no accident that one of the characters begins discussing Ugetsu, the book of stories that inspired Kenji Mizoguchi’s supernatural masterpiece, just before the film’s climactic scene. The film screens at 10:30 a.m. at the General Cinema at Mazza Gallerie, 5300 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $12. (301) 365-3679. (Mark Jenkins)