A legendary figure of the postwar Japanese cinema, Yoshishige Yoshida (b. 1933) is one of Japan’s most artistically ambitious, politically astute and influential filmmakers. Yoshida is best known for his work with the spellbinding Mariko Okada (b. 1934), one of the most beloved and celebrated actresses of her generation, and one of the great stars of the Japanese New Wave. Working together with Okada, Yoshida created an incredible body of films unparalleled for their formal sophistication, philosophical depth and sheer beauty. Underappreciated in this country, Yoshida is rightly considered in Japan and Europe, and especially France, among the preeminent masters of the modern Japanese art film.
Yoshida’s first passion, and the focus of his studies at Tokyo University, was French existential philosophy and literature, a training which deeply informs the intellectual rigor of his subsequent film work and later writing on film and art. By chance, or destiny, Yoshida was drawn into… read more
Of the major filmmakers of the Japanese New Wave, Yoshishige Yoshida (whose name is sometimes transliterated as Kiju Yoshida) remains arguably the least well known in the West, despite recent retrospectives in Europe and North America. That may speak for the fact that his films are often difficult and demanding, and require some historical knowledge and awareness of Japanese society for full appreciation. Nevertheless, their sensual beauty ought to be accessible to any sensitive viewer. And alongside their intellectual depth, Yoshida's finest films display a profound engagement with the emotions of his characters. While Yoshida's films have elicited comparisons with Antonioni, the focus of the two directors may be contrasted: Antonioni focuses on bourgeois characters beset by feelings of sterility and ennui, while Yoshida depicts women possessed by emotions of destructive intensity. http://www.midnighteye.com/interviews/yoshishige-yoshida/