In Tokyo in 1888, Kikunosuke Onoue, the adoptive son of an important actor, discovers that he is praised for his acting only because he is his father’s heir, and that the troupe complains how bad he is behind his back.
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At last coming to Blu-ray and DVD via Artificial Eye in the U.K, a release which will lead to a dramatic reappraisal of this magnificent film's standing in the canon of not only Mizoguchi, but the whole of world cinema. One of the great masterpieces of Japanese films from the 1930s.
Both a sprawling epic and a touching character piece. Here we have a top candidate for restoration as the available prints are shoddy and only hint at the visual splendor as it must have appeared in its initial run.
Filmada en el año de 1939, esta cinta es considerada una de las obras maestras de Kenji Mizoguchi. De una impresionante belleza visual, esta fue la primera parte de una trilogia dedicada por el gran cineasta a los entretelones del teatro Kabuki, por lo que resulta verdaderamente tragico saber que las otras dos partes del triptico (filmadas entre 1940-1941) debido a la irresponsabilidad, se han perdido para siempre.
Masterful camerawork and framing from Mizoguchi here with great performances. Kakuko Mori is given the trust of her director to convey her selfless devotion through body language, movement & her sweet voice without the need for any close-ups, doing so emphatically - Heartbreaking.
The camera work and composition are beautiful almost beyond belief. The lighting, the gentle and natural movement of the camera, and the almost complete lack of close-ups create some of the most arresting images I've ever seen on film. It is almost as though Mizoguchi was able to saturate every image and every moment of the film with meaning.
you could never seen such gentle camera tracking work, memorable long shots, very fine lighting & compositions, and kabuki in one big masterpiece. only mizoguchi who could transform tragedies into a work of art. beyond believe!
Set in 19th Century Tokyo, ZANGIKU MONOGATARI (1939) is the story of a young actor (Shotaro Hanayagi) estranged from his family because of a romantic relationship w/ a servant (Kakuko Mori). Mizoguchi's long takes, deep focus & beautiful compositions elevate the familiar selfless woman/selfish man storyline to art. If, like me, your experience w/ Japanese cinema is limited, here's a good place to start. (9/20/11 BAM)