19yo girl loses husband in war. Bombing destroys his family's shop and the widow stays to rebuild it as the rest of the family flee and runs it for 18 years out of love for her dead husband... See full synopsis »
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 ... See full summary »
The businessman Ogata Shingo works with his son Shuichi, who is his secretary, and they live together in the suburb with their wives Yasuko and Kikuko respectively. Shuichi has a love ... See full summary »
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 ... See full summary »
Otsuta is running the geisha house Tsuta in Tokyo. Her business is heavily in debt. Her daughter Katsuyo doesn't see any future in her mothers trade in the late days of Geisha. But Otsuta ... 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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