Tag Archives: Ken Uehara

Arakure / Untamed Woman (1957) Mikio Naruse, Hideko Takamine, Ken Uehara, Masayuki Mori, Drama

Arakure (Mikio Naruse, 1957)
Set in the Taish? period of Japan (dating from 1912 to 1926), Untamed follows the fiery Oshima (in a superbly eccentric performance by Takamine) as she passes from one suitor to another, a series of calamities befalling her along the way. Characteristic of Naruse’s work, urban and rural settings are juxtaposed: the moody Tokyo streets against a majestic mountain village. At each point, the various situations Oshima is caught in seem uncannily bound up with her surroundings. It’s worth noting that the film, while not widely known, is singled out for praise by critic Chris Fujiwara.
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Bangiku / Late Chrysanthemums (1954) Mikio Naruse, Haruko Sugimura, Ken Uehara, Sadako Sawamura, Drama

Bangiku (1954)
What is the life of a Geisha like once her beauty has faded and she has retired? Kin has saved her money, and has become a wealthy money-lender, spending her days cold-heartedly collecting debts. Even her best friends, Tomi, Nobu, and Tamae, who were her fellow Geisha, are now indebted to her. For all of them, the glamor of their young lives has passed; Tomi and Tamae have children, but their children have disappointed them. Kin has two former lovers who still pursue her; one she wants to see, and the other she doesn’t. But even the one she remembers fondly, when he shows up, proves to be a disappointment.
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Tsuma / Wife (1953) Mikio Naruse, Mieko Takamine, Ken Uehara, Rentarô Mikuni, Drama

Tsuma (1953)
Tokyo. Mihoko and Toichi Nakagawa’s ten year marriage is crumbling out of inertia. Each knows the other isn’t happy, they themselves aren’t happy, but they don’t talk about their problems with each other, each festering in their unhappiness largely so that they will not show especially to their three boarders their problems. Mihiko in particular, old fashioned in her outlook, does not see divorce as an option, that move which would be a stigma she could not tolerate. Both are seemingly oblivious to the fact that others around them are facing similar if not worse situations, and that they themselves are largely the cause of their unhappiness. Things for their marriage get worse when Toichi starts to fall for his work colleague, widowed Fusako Sagara, who returns his affections.
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Hana saku minato / Port of Flowers (1943) Keisuke Kinoshita, Eitarô Ozawa, Ken Uehara, Mitsuko Mito, Drama

Hana saku minato (1943)
The sweet but naive denizens of a charming port town are hoodwinked by a couple of con men who prey on them at the outset of the war. But the hustlers’ plan backfires when they come down with severe cases of conscience. Kinoshita’s directorial debut is a breezy, warmhearted, and often very funny crowd-pleaser that’s a testament to the filmmaker’s faith in people.
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