Scrupuleuse description d'un mode de vie qui tend à s'étioler et disparaître de la société nippone, trop souvent associé dans la mentalité occidentale à de la prostitution et qui révèle d'admirables compositions de femmes, avec en filigrane des hommes plutôt ombrageux et distants, hostiles et inutiles. www.cinefiches.com
Something perfectly crafted and truly profound. Art of the highest magnitude, but presented w/ humility. Is it his humility that keeps the name of Naruse held closely to the breast of such a small number of we initiates (compared to the other three Japanese masters)? This is a stunning ensemble piece, but it doesn't exactly shake you by the lapels. One of the best about suffering as a lineage. Exquisite performances.
As one would expect, Naruse's view of the geisha business is ultimately ambivalent; likewise, the equivocal final scenes, showing the careful composition of a master director, bring together the various characters and varied generations, the song of their disappearing trade one of loss and celebration.
As art imitates life and vice versa (via generations of actresses and roles), traditional ways decay to further decadent erosions of disguised pragmatism. Through the ebbs and flows, highs and lows of the fallen female character, Naruse, with that ingenious end scene shimmering with poignancy, coagulates a moment of sheer consciousness in converging pathways before time streams on with undeterred impetus once again.
Mikio Naruse seems fascinated by the descriptions of the decay of traditional Japanese institutions. Marriage in REPAST and SOUND OF THE MOUNTAIN, Geisha houses in FLOWING. Naruse isn't so interested in depicting violent scenes exemplifying his intentions, he prefers to let his camera film the little cracks that forecast the future and inevitable breakdown. Highly recommended.