A few days in the life of a quiet geisha, single mother of a young, smart boy, in the lively Tokyo quarter of Ginza. A woman devoted to other people's needs, she will end by taking part ... See full summary »
On August 15, ten years after the Pacific War, five people meet at a station. Their purpose is to dig out a cache of morphine -- now worth sixty million yen -- that HASHIMOTO, an army ... See full summary »
Setsuko is unhappily to Mimura, an engineer with no job and a bad drinking habit. She had always been in love with Hiroshi but both of them failed to propose when Hiroshi left for France a ... See full summary »
This is a very impressive Naruse effort, its reputation somehow lost in the mix between the better-known Repast and Sound of the Mountain. As did Flowing this one completely immerses you in its subjects' lives, capturing you with the gentle but increasingly subtly erratic and ominous rhythms of drama and editing. By the end we've reached a devastating climax fulfilled by a denouement of similarly grim yet beautiful ambiguity. My favourite moment may be the broken countershot near the end, which sets up to imply a flashback only to create a forward ellipse. It caps the film wonderfully.
Machiko Kyo is superb, but Reisaburo Yamamoto and Masayuki Mori overplay without the necessary depth to offset their excess. Yoshiko Kuga has always struck me as an actress who simply reads her lines, and she's bland here as usual but it works for the character. None of this hurts the film, though.
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