"Kagamijishi" is a 24-minute film intended to introduce audiences to Kabuki theater and also to showcase the skill of Kikugoro IV who was a legendary Kabuki artist. When I am almost never bothered by black and white films (I can't imagine for instance Kurosawa's "Rashomon" or Allen's "Manhattan" in color), I was frustrated by the black and white photography of this documentary. It is really a pity that we can't fully enjoy the bright colors and the richness of the Kabuki costumes. Nevertheless, Kikugoro (who was then 51) is amazing when transforming himself from delicate maiden to ferocious lion. His dance with a pair of fans is simply mesmerizing.
Of course this is not enough for true Kabuki connoisseurs. As for Ozu's admirers, they will enjoy this short film as the only documentary shot by the master, but I believe it is to be watched when you have seen most of Ozu's great works.
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