A rebellious Korean artist tests the limits of his sadistic patron, an omnipotent feudal Japanese lord. Yoshihide demands a commission to paint screens of the Hell which he sees the ... See full summary »
A journalist interviews an old woman who was forced into prostitution, just like many other Japanese women working in Asia outside of Japan during the first half of the 20th century. She worked in a Malaysian brothel called Sandakan 8.
A young man has an affair with an older woman. He is very jealous of her husband and decides that they should kill him. One night, after the husband had plenty of sake to drink and was in ... See full summary »
An entomologist searching for insects by the seaside is trapped by local villagers into living with a widow whose life task is digging up sand for them, and eventually develops strong feelings for her.
Ah-Ching and his friends have just finished school in their island fishing village, and now spend most of their time drinking and fighting. Three of them decide to go to the port city of ... See full summary »
The film shows the society and life in Beijing in 1920s through the eyes of a 6 year old girl. Yingzi Lin moves to Beijing from Taiwan with her parents. They live in a lane in the southern ... See full summary »
It's a man's world. Shimamura, an artist, comes to this snowbound town to rejuvenate himself. He connects with Komako, a geisha he met on a previous trip, and it seems like love. She's the ... See full summary »
Tokyo, 1890. Through avarice, a series of misunderstandings, and failures of courage, the engagement of Kan-ichi (a student) and Miya (the daughter of Kan-ichi's debtor) is canceled to ... See full summary »
An example of all that is great about Japanese cinema prior to its decline in the 1960s. It is pictorially exquisite, leisurely paced but never dull, well-acted with just the right amount of melodrama, and directed by a master in top form. The director, Shiro Toyoda, is a superb Japanese film director that has yet to be discovered in the West, though a few of his films, such as "Wild Geese" and "Snow Country" can be found on video.
The story is of a young woman whose relationships with men in the past have been stormy, and who finds herself once again in a bad situation. She becomes the mistress of a wealthy moneylender, believing him to be a merchant who has been recently widowed and that he will soon marry her. She discovers his lies but cannot leave him because of the money he has given to her elderly father. Soon she falls in love with a student that passes by her house every day on the way home, but their relationship ends before it even begins when he is accepted as an apprentice to a doctor in Germany.
"The Mistress" is a beautifully shot film that captures with subtlety and grace the central character's tragedy through its images. It is also an admirable film for its restraint in not descending into the pit of tear-jerking sentimentality that so many Japanese films of the period (even some of the good ones) so frequently did.
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