A common thief (Depardieu) breaks into the house of a professional dominatrix (Ogier), and begins to help her "train" her clients. Though this world is alien to his experience, he finds ... See full summary »
A semi-literate who was deprived of schooling during the Cultural Revolution, Li Huiquan, is released from labor camp. But his attempts to make good are continually thwarted. His street ... See full summary »
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 »
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 »
Let me say from the outset that there is not much in the way of Hideko Takamine films with English subtitles or dubbing. She was one of Japan's greatest actresses, only rivaled to me by Setsuko Hara. I watched the English dubbed version of this film, which was fine, but not advisable. Better to get the subtitled version (if it exists), it seems more natural. That being said, the film is great. Its all about a lady Otoma (Ms. Takamine) becoming a mistress, rather than the wife, of a money lender. He is actually next to a loan shark. She gets her own place, but the money lenders wife finds out about this arrangement and is, of course, upset. Otoma also seems to like a student who helps her, and it is apparent she'd be happier with him, but that may be a dead end. This film is complex, but the use of shadows is a great idea. The mood of the film rarely waivers, and makes for a consistently rewarding, if not actually happy, film. Hideko Takamine, with her pretty doe eyes and beautiful face, lights up any film she is in. The only films I know off the top of my head that have English subtitles of hers are "When A Woman Ascends The Stairs", "Twenty Four Eyes" and "Carmen Comes Home" (Japan's first color film. The sequel "Carmen Finds Love" isn't even available-yet-on DVD). So, watch any Hideko Takamine film while you can. They are all rewarding (the above listed films). This film is a very worthy addition to watch, but check if you can get a subtitle version, rather than the dubbed version. Long may you run, beautiful Ms. Hideko Takamine.
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