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317 Ratings

Ballad of Narayama

Narayama bushiko

Directed by Keisuke Kinoshita
Japan, 1958


This most stylized work by Kinoshita is also his most dramatically theatrical, replete with meticulously designed soundstages and dramatic lighting. A haunting allegory that shows the conflict between filial duty, tradition and social pressure.

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Ballad of Narayama Directed by Keisuke Kinoshita

Critics reviews

Attuned to the formalism inherent in Japanese life… [the film] simply takes these elements familiar from his earlier films and pushes them to their aesthetic limit. The result is a tour-de-force that clashes static set-pieces (including the film’s most astonishing sequence, a five-minute ritual as Orin asks the village elders for advice, the figures illuminated against interior darkness by phosphorescent, ghostly lighting) with “extravagant” camerawork that has been compared to Max Ophuls.
March 17, 2013
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