Minor but still ravishing Mizoguchi film with its focus the renowend Ukio-e artist Utamaro. As always, Mizoguchi's own brand of feminism permeates the film, from the wonderful scene of men joking about women, yet these emerging as superior through their placement in the frame, to the celebration of the female form in the tattoo and bath scenes. Quintessential film about the dignity of the non-complacent artist.
3,5 No word's stranger to Mizoguchi’s world here than “estrangement”. So strange, that women kill to wipe it & wind up in a paradox, causing the ultimate estrangement of him whose distance became unacceptable. No help from act-object ambiguity; the upshot of an action follows actual action, one cannot die incessantly, engaging singly in the process w/out achieving the fractally postponed, denied, fallout tranquility.
One of my favourite Mizoguchi films so far, a really visually amazing film that encapsulates everything in the last scene. Like every Mizoguchi, it is staged like a play and shot in an effortless fashion. It is clearly an autobiographical work, I will show the beauty of all woman clearly serving as a metaphor for Mizoguchi himself. And beside that we have a great story and performances from Bando and Tanaka.