Japanese Classics XI

My last Kenji Mizoguchi’s films… The Life of Oharu (1952) follows a woman’s fight and survival amid the vicissitudes of life and the cruelty of the society. It is about a fifty-year-old prostitute, no longer able to attract men, who looks back on her sad life. Once a lady-in-waiting at the imperial court at Kyoto, Oharu […]

Read more "Japanese Classics XI"

Japanese Classics VIII

I decided to have myself a Kenji Mizoguchi film festival… Mizoguchi’s Ugetsu Monogatari (1953) [Tales of the Rain and Moon, aka Ugetsu] is a highly acclaimed masterwork of Japanese cinema. Based on a pair of 18th century ghost stories by Ueda Akinari, the film’s release continued Mizoguchi’s introduction to the West, where it was nominated […]

Read more "Japanese Classics VIII"

Japanese Classics VII

Continuing my journey of Japanese classic films… Mikio Naruse’s When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960) is a story about a middle-aged bar hostess, constantly in debt, who is faced with numerous social constraints and challenges posed to her by her family, customers and friends. The movie has a strong sense of place and time. […]

Read more "Japanese Classics VII"

Japanese Classics VI

Continuing my movie journey of Japanese classics… I love these films. There is something about the simple framing, the subtle storytelling, the obviousness of the plot-points that is so captivating. Sometimes I wonder did storytelling in cinema even improve since then. With the following three films I hit 18/30 of the list. Pale Flower (1964) […]

Read more "Japanese Classics VI"

Japanese Classics V

I didn’t know there are two versions of this and proceeded to watch the 1958 one first. The Ballad of Narayama is a period drama directed by Keisuke Kinoshita. The feature film explores the practice of obasute. The story is heartrending – a mother, who will be turning 71 in the coming year, prepares to […]

Read more "Japanese Classics V"

Japanese Classics IV

Instead of musing about Tokyo Story, one of best films in the world, I decided to watch the remake and muse about that. Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story (1953) is a masterpiece of ponderous simplicity and it tells one of the simplest of stories – an old couple visits their children who have set up homes […]

Read more "Japanese Classics IV"

Japanese Classics III

House is a 1977 Japanese horror film directed and produced by Nobuhiko Obayashi. The film stars mostly amateur actors with only Kimiko Ikegami and Yōko Minamida having any notable previous acting experience. The film is about a schoolgirl traveling with her six classmates to her ailing aunt’s country home, where they come face to face […]

Read more "Japanese Classics III"