The stage director Shimamura, who is bringing western theatre to Japan, falls in love with the outspoken actress Sumako Matsui, and leaves his family to be with her, while trying to keep his Art Theatre solvent.
Tag Archives: Kenji Mizoguchi
Osaka Elegy / Naniwa erejî (1936) Kenji Mizoguchi, Isuzu Yamada, Seiichi Takegawa, Chiyoko Ôkura, Drama
Waga koi wa moenu / Flame of My Love (1949) Kenji Mizoguchi, Kinuyo Tanaka, Mitsuko Mito, Kuniko Miyake, Drama, Romance
Ugetsu monogatari / Ugetsu (1953) Kenji Mizoguchi, Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyô, Kinuyo Tanaka, Drama, Fantasy, War
In the beginning of the springtime in the period of the Japanese Civil Wars of the Sixteenth Century in Lake Biwa in the Province of Omi, the family man farmer and craftsman Genjurô travels to Nagahama to sell his wares and makes a small fortune.
Saikaku Ichidai Onna / The Life of Oharu (1952) Kenji Mizoguchi, Kinuyo Tanaka, Tsukie Matsuura, Ichirô Sugai, Drama
A fifty-year-old prostitute, no longer able to attract men, looks back on her sad life. Once a lady-in-waiting at the imperial court at Kyoto, Oharu fell in love with, and became the lover of, a man below her station. They were discovered, and Oharu and her family were exiled. For Oharu there followed a life filled with one sorrow and humiliation after another.
Sanshô dayû / Sansho the Bailiff (1954) Kenji Mizoguchi, Kinuyo Tanaka, Yoshiaki Hanayagi, Kyôko Kagawa, Drama
Akasen Chitai / Street of Shame (1956) Kenji Mizoguchi, Machiko Kyô, Aiko Mimasu, Ayako Wakao, Drama
Five prostitutes work at Dreamland, in Tokyo’s Yoshiwara district. As the Diet considers a ban on prostitution, the women’s daily dramas play out. Each has dreams and motivations. Hanae is married, her husband unemployed; they have a young child. Yumeko, a widow, uses her earnings to raise and support her son, who’s now old enough to work and care for her. The aging Yorie has a man who wants to marry her. Yasumi saves money diligently to pay her debt and get out; she also has a suitor who wants to marry her, but she has other plans for him. Mickey seems the most devil-may-care, until her father comes from Kobe to bring her news of her family and ask her to come home.
Musashino fujin / The Lady of Musashino (1951) Kenji Mizoguchi, Kinuyo Tanaka, Yukiko Todoroki, Masayuki Mori, Drama
Set in post-war Japan, The Lady of Musashino tells the story of Michiko, a disillusioned young woman trapped in a loveless marriage. She confides in her younger cousin, Tsutomo, and the two become close, but decide not to consummate their affair. He instead becomes involved with the flirtatious Tomiko, who is also conducting an affair with Michiko’s husband. When Michiko finds that her husband has abandoned her, she decides to take her fate into her own hands.
Meitô bijomaru / The Sword (1945) Kenji Mizoguchi, Shôtarô Hanayagi, Kan Ishii, Eijirô Yanagi, Drama
Kiyone Sakurai, an apprentice swordmaker makes a sword for his guardian, Kozaemon Onoda. Onoda breaks the sword while defending his lord which eventually leads to his death at the hands of Naito, when Naito demands to marry his daughter Sasae. Sasae vows to avenge her father’s death and pleads for Kiyone Sakurai to make a special sword for her. So Kiyone and his fellow swordmaker Kiyotsugu go to the master swordsmith Kiyohide Yamatomori to learn their craft and forge the sword.
Gubijinsô / The Poppy (1935) Kenji Mizoguchi, Ichirô Tsukida, Daijirô Natsukawa, Kazuyoshi Takeda, Drama
Based on Soseki Natsume’s 1908 novel of the same title, Poppy is an ornately complicated story of desire and ambition. Fujio is beautiful, talented, well-heeled, and engaged to Munechika, a rising young diplomat. She has promised him a gold watch, a family heirloom, as an emblem of their engagement. But she falls in love with Ono, a student employed to tutor her in English, who is attracted by her beauty and wealth. Ono is himself bound by an engagement to Sayoko, the daughter of his mentor, Professor Inoue. The self-centered Fujio is ready to forsake everything for Ono, but he is prevailed upon to go ahead with his marriage to Sayoko. Fujio then offers the watch to Munechika who, perceiving Fujio’s true feelings, hurls the watch into the sea.