A couple stand indecisively on a bridge in Asakusa. Tsutae and Yoshiji have lost confidence and passion for their future as they get on the bus for Tsukishima and get off at Suzaki. Across ...
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A couple stand indecisively on a bridge in Asakusa. Tsutae and Yoshiji have lost confidence and passion for their future as they get on the bus for Tsukishima and get off at Suzaki. Across the bridge they see the sign for Suzaki Paradise, a red-light district where Tsutae once worked as a prostitute. Tsutae spots an ad for a waitress at a bar near the bridge and she rushes in to get the job. The kind hearted madam, Tokuko, helps them out by hiring Tsutae and finding work for Yoshiji delivering noodles. But the wanton Tsutae is soon attracted to Ochiai, a rich, generous man who owns an electrical shop specializing in radios. Written by
A rare classic from a director who deserves attention
This is only the first film of Yuzo Kawashima that I watch and I'm definitely looking for more of his work! Kawashima remains virtually unknown in the west, which is a shame, since, from what I've read, he was a pioneer of Japanese new-wave, a big influence for Shohei Imamura and was highly regarded in Japan. The film is about a young, homeless couple in search for job, that ends up in a small bar just outside the Suzaki red-light district in Tokyo. I found the film really absorbing, I actually felt that I was living too in a small house at the edge of Suzaki river, watching the trucks, the noodle delivery men, the prostitutes and their clients crossing the bridge, in and out of the district. There are also some nice scenes of the busy and full of life streets of the 50s Tokyo. Overall, this is a fascinating film, on par with the other Japanese classics from the 1950s, that deserves to be distributed in the west along with more Kawashima movies, so that we get a chance to discover this neglected director.
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