this is a fragment of the original 115 minute film. Read More »
Kenji Mizoguchi & Seiichi Ina – Asahi wa kagayaku AKA The Rising Sun is Shining [Reedited version] (1929)
Partially lost film. Exactly it is said only 1/4 are extant.
Original story is like the following (translated from the accompanying booklet):
After finishing university, Hayafusa (Eiji Nakano) and Kusaka (Hiroyoshi Murata) enter Osaka Asahi Shimbun Co. Akizuki (Heitarô Hirai), the president of some company, who is from the same province with them, does not pleased of their entrance because he dislikes newspaper, however, his daughter Asako (Ranko Sawa) prays their future successes. At the office of Shinzaki (Shin Minobe), that are located at the same building with Akizuki, dubious foreigners have frequented, Hayafusa and Kusaka can obtain Shinzaki’s encrypted telegram with the help of elevator operator Kurie (Takako Irie). When Aurora, steamship round the world meets with a disaster off the coast of Sumoto, they goes there as reporters. Read More »
From David Williams entry on Mizoguchi in World Film Directors:
The first of his pictures still extant, Furusato no uta (The Song of Home), is a studio assignment remote from Mizoguchi’s personal concerns, lauding traditional rural values over those of the wicked city, although it contains some montage experiments in the manner of Minoru Murata. The script by Ryunosuke Shimizu won a Ministry of Education award. Read More »
A classic melodramatic love tragedy addressing social inequality in feudal Japan, depicted in Kenji Mizoguchi’s typical style. The nostalgic scenes of 1920s Tokyo provides a valuable visual experience set against the background of the title song, “Tokyo March.” Read More »
Dan Harper wrote:
Any serious film director is concerned not only with meticulous representation but also with a kind of drama which must, by its nature, question the ethical rightness of things as they are…. Usually, a director is drawn to situations with maximum dramatic potential. Invariably that potential is provided by strife and friction between the individual and his environment. In the Japanese woman, Japanese directors have discovered the perfect protagonist. This does not mean that Japanese directors are feminists – even Kenji Mizoguchi, though he is often so described. It means rather that these directors in seeking objectivity as well as dramatic revelation have, naturally, shown Japanese women as they are. Read More »
synopsis Kiyone Sakurai, an apprentice swordmaker makes a sword for his guardian, Kozaemon Onoda. Onoda breaks the sword while defending his lord which eventually leads to his death at the hands of Naito, when Naito demands to marry his daughter Sasae. Sasae vows to avenge her father’s death and pleads for Kiyone Sakurai to make a special sword for her. So Kiyone and his fellow swordmaker Kiyotsugu go to the master swordsmith Kiyohide Yamatomori to learn their craft and forge the sword. Read More »
Sansho Dayu… is the triumphant summation of Mizoguchi’s style and themes, as well as the most compassionate response imaginable to those atrocities which had been committed in then very recent years, in Japan and all over the world. It is the most humanist of films, but it asserts that humanism is powerless without politics, just as politics is purposeless without humanism. The last sequence is the most perfect ending in cinema, so broad in implication, so exquisite in form. The reunion of mother and son – the revelation of human love – is at once the most important thing in the world, and an event insignificant against the panorama of human suffering. The double perspective – never to see things in isolation, always in context – is assured by Mizoguchi’s style, and defines his art. Sansho Dayu is, in Gilbert Adair’s words, “one of those films for whose sake the cinema exists”.
Alexander Jacoby, Senses Of Cinema.com Read More »