Naruse - Three Films By Mikio Naruse

  |  Buy to Own: 04/12/2006
  |  275 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC
Naruse - Three Films By Mikio Naruse Film Poster


Three films by Japanese master filmmaker Mikio Naruse. 'Repast' (1951) is set shortly after World War II, and tells the story of a struggling marriage between salaryman Hatsunosuke (Ken Uehara) and his wife Michiyo (Setsuko Hara). The repetitive tedium of Michiyo's domestic life is brought into focus by a visit from Hatsunosuke's niece, Satoko (Yukiko Shimazaki ) on whom Hatsunosuke lavishes much attention. Adapted from a novel by Kawabata Yasunari, the first Japanese author to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, 'Sound Of The Mountain' (1954) is one of Naruse's best-known and most respected films, typifying his preferred genre of shomin-geki (films about the daily lives of ordinary people). Set in the ancient seaside town of Kamakura, Kawabata's home, the film depicts the increasingly close relationship between a childless young woman, Kikuko (Setsuko Hara), and her father-in-law, Shingo (So Yamamura), to whom she turns as her own marriage, to the neglectful and philandering Shuichi (Ken Uehara), disintegrates. The more Shuichi destroys his marriage, the closer Shingo and Kikuko become. 'Flowing' (1956) was released in the year that prostitution was outlawed in Japan. The film explores the inner workings of a changing world, as traditional geishas faced the impending decline of their hidden way of life and the looming spectre of prostitution. It depicts the story of a widow, Rika (Kinuyo Tanaka), who is forced to work for a living and becomes a maid in a struggling Tokyo geisha house, where Tsutayakko (Isuzu Yamada ), its proud mistress, tries to save the house from becoming either a restaurant or a brothel. It is through Rika, a surrogate for the viewer, that we are introduced to the various geishas, who drink and fight, worry over the lack of clients, and attempt to stave off imminent extinction.