In eighth century China, the Emperor is grieving over the death of his wife. The Yang family wants to provide the Emperor with a consort so that they may consolidate their influence over ...
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In the post-war, the sixteen year-old teenager Eiko seeks out the geisha Miyoharu in the district of Gion, in Kyoto asking her to be a "maiko" (apprentice of geisha). Eiko explains that her... See full summary »
Hatsuko Umabuchi is a widow who runs a prosperous geisha house in present day Kyoto. Her daughter Yukiko returns from Tokyo following a failed suicide attempt, after her lover found out ... See full summary »
Ishun is a wealthy, but unsympathetic, master printer who has wrongly accused his wife and best employee of being lovers. To escape punishment, the accused run away together, but Ishun is certain to be ruined if word gets out.
Utamaro, a great artist, lives to create portraits of beautiful women, and the brothels of Tokyo provide his models. A world of passion swirls around him, as the women in his life vie for ... See full summary »
Young servant girl Hamako has just started working for her personal hero, Madame Yuki. Her romanticized view of the Madame is broken immediately, as she is introduced with a list of the Madame's personal problems.
In eighth century China, the Emperor is grieving over the death of his wife. The Yang family wants to provide the Emperor with a consort so that they may consolidate their influence over the court. General An Lushan finds a distant relative working in their kitchen whom they groom to present to the Emperor. The Emperor falls in love with her and she becomes the Princess Yang Kwei-fei. The Yangs are then appointed important ministers, though An Lushan is not given the court position he covets. The ministers misuse their power so much that there is a popular revolt against all the Yangs, fueled by An Lushan.Written by
Good film, beautifully shot and made, but with a typical story...
Like with 'Zangiku monogatari', Mizoguchi has made a very beautiful film. The long tracking shots, deep focus editing, and vibrant colors are gorgeous. Yet the story in 'Yang Kwei fei", just like in Mizo's 'Zangiku monogatari' and 'The Crucified Lovers', is very typical and unexceptional. Be prepared to see ideal archetypes of perfectly virtous self-sacrificing women, stupid greedy and cruel men, and did I mention?...the cruelties of feudalism. I think such a simple story set during feudalism is a weakness in this film. It leaves a viewer commonly thinking: feudalism sucks (boy that's new), it's good it's over,...what's next? This is a perfectly valid critique. Mizoguchi's vastly better films are his realistic masterworks from 1036: 'Osaka Elegy' and 'Sisters of the Gion', as well as his late more retrained masterpieces 'Ugetsu', 'Sansho Dayu', and 'Life of Oharu'.
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