The sublime, in cinema - that elusive state of rapture, of ego-dissolution, wherein I become no more than an emotional/physical/chemical projector for the film to watch itself through; its realization. The only thing keeping this one from taking me completely was my brain blurting,"Gah! It's perfect" every few minutes (maybe my mind's defence against it?) That, and the heavy truth of our undiminished brutality...
Effortless, rebellious, and elegiac, Sansho the Bailiff is one of the greatest films ever made and Mizoguchi is clearly one of the greatest filmmakers who ever lived. Here is a film that is affecting beyond words.
One of the most emotionally painful films I've seen in recent memory. Astonishing. An absolutely beautiful story of how ideals can transcend the worst misery. I feel silly for having waited so late to watch any Mizoguchi, seeing that this is my first. The mastery of the images and the acting told me very strongly just how tightly in control Mizoguchi was of his craft. One of the best Japanese films I've ever seen.
Beautiful in all the expected ways, but what makes it extraordinary is that very the fruition of Tamaki, Anju and Zushio's lives is to live through the humane teachings of their respective husband and father. The singular greatness of Mizoguchi transforms an unfortunate tale of slavery into the closest cinema has ever got to Aeschylus's suffering into truth; who else would dare to do that, or even want to?
Exquisite torture. Is that too precious? Maybe, but the film isn't. A towering work of great beauty, power, and pathos, Sansho is also, in the great Japanese tradition, built on the close reading and rigorous observation of difficult -- not to say hopeless -- social realities. Fearsome and very fine.
Mizoguchi's 1954 masterwork is a tragic and timeless tale about the pain and suffering human beings inflict upon one another, the exploitation of the lower classes for cheap labor, and the struggle for mercy, justice, and compassion. One of the most poignant and philosophical endings in film history. Moved me to tears.
absolutely ruthless story about humanism (mizoguchi is notoriously ruthless towards women) the best part of it for me is music and very graphic compositions with thorny trees and bushes, which clearly signify looming danger, which is almost everywhere