Two interwoven stories. The first is a biography of anarchist Sakae Osugi which follows his relationship with three women in the 1920s. The second centers around two 1960s' students researching Osugi's theories.
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 »
The story takes place in feudal Japan, when any commerce with the rest of the world was strictly prohibited. An idealist suddenly appears in an isolated inn (the one that the title refers ... See full summary »
A Japanese detective, Kikuchi, is framed for a murder and sent to prison. When he is paroled, he joins a private detective agency to investigate his case and investigates Mitsue Takazawa, ... See full summary »
A Woman's Life contains a lot of elements from Naruse's films (Hideko Takamine trying to run a business on her own, sponging relatives, unreliable men, a lovesick Tatsuya Nakadai watching from afar) but this time the elements fail to gel into a satisfying whole. Part of the problem is the structure of the movie. There are frequent flashbacks that relate the history of Takamine's marriage and the raising of her son. The flashbacks tend to be more interesting than the main story. The parts of the flashbacks that deal with Takamine's struggles during World War II and the immediate post war years are particularly engaging. The other problem is that this movie has one of the worst musical soundtracks I have ever heard. The plots of Naruse's movies always hover on the precipice of melodrama, but the music here pushes the movie right over the edge. Some scenes have this cheesy organ music that sounds like it was lifted from a radio soap opera. The movie does have its good features. Hideko Takamine is fine to watch as always and the actress who plays her mother-in-law is very amusing. But overall I would say that this is a movie only for the most die-hard of Naruse, Takamine and Nakadai fans. Everyone else would likely be bored by it.
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