Naruse's THREE SISTERS WITH MAIDEN HEARTS remains one of the most inventive and original early sound films made anywhere; its usage of voice-over, sound effects, and music to amplify the basic narrative is extraordinarily sophisticated. It's also one of Naruse's most poignant films, with its story of three sisters and their travails as traveling musicians. It's very little known, but deserved to be more widely seen. This film is also notable as one of the rare instances when Yasunari Kawabata wrote the original screen story; in 1954, Naruse would adapt Kawabata's novel THE SOUND FROM THE MOUNTAINS, but this early collaboration remains an instance where a distinctive literary sensibility was truly represented on the screen.
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