"At Christmas I no more desire a rose Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled mirth; But like of each thing that in season grows."
Started by Chedney Honks, October 03, 2021, 09:27:27 AM
QuoteIt's such a suffocating world and the film does a great job of exploring the consequences of those pressures.
Quotehe is very good at blending the traditional Japanese film about a tragic woman (which Mizoguchi did so well), with a lot of sociological and economic detail
Quote from: Chedney Honks on October 03, 2021, 09:27:27 AMI've never seen any other Naruse but this is a wonderful, quietly devastating film and I'll look forward to exploring more.This is a gorgeously shot, noirish drama about 'Mama', a bar hostess and widow at a crossroads in life. Beautiful and enigmatic, played with a detached, demure intensity by Hideko Takamine, she has several wealthy suitors who would be able to take away her financial pressures overnight, if she would only give herself away. Although only 30, she's reached the point where she will soon be replaced by younger, fresher hostesses. Now is the time to decide whether to marry her way out of this world or to set up her own bar, by borrowing funds from her patrons. Debt and restrictions and obligations weigh heavily throughout the film. There are constant pressures from family, friends, customers, bosses, the need for luxurious clothes and perfume in order to sell the dream to customers to earn back the money that was spent. It's such a suffocating world and the film does a great job of exploring the consequences of those pressures. It's a powerful critique of the tragic subjugation of women in Japanese society. Tatsuya Nakadai also makes an appearance as the bar manager who holds a torch for Mama and he is as charismatic and brooding as ever. His resentful affection for Mama is one of the highlights of the film and the jazz xylophone soundtrack perfectly matches his moody emotional distance.It's an often heartbreaking film with a great ending. I watched it via BFI Player but I'll try to pick up a physical copy if possible. It's one I'll definitely want to watch again. I very much recommend it.
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