Tag Archives: Hideko Takamine

Mikio Naruse – Hikinige aka Hit and Run (1966)

In 1966, Mikio Naruse made two films that featured elements of the suspense/thriller genre. According to IMDb, The Stranger Within a Woman came first in January. Then in April, this film was released

Here’s Michael Kerpan’s review of the film:
In Naruse’s next to last film, he returned to cinemascope format, but stayed with black and white film. This is once again, in terms of plot, a bit of a shocker. Soon after we meet Kuniko (a young widow, played by Hideko Takamine) and her much-beloved young only son, the boy is run over by Kinuko (played by Yoko Tsukasa the rich spoiled wife of an automobile executive). Kinuko, it turns out, was distracted at the time of the accident because her companion in the car, a hunkish younger man who is her lover, had just told her of his plan to soon begin a far-away job. Kinuko tells her husband of the accident (but not the precipitating cause), and he orders the corporate chauffeur (Yutaka Sada, who was also the unfortunate chauffeur in “High and Low”). Luckily for him, he gets off with a small fine and a suspended sentence. Read More »

Masaki Kobayashi – Kono hiroi sora no dokoka ni aka Somewhere Beneath The Wide Sky (1954)

SOMEWHERE BENEATH THE WIDE SKY (1954, aka KONO HIROI SORA NO DOKOKA NI) came near the end of Masaki Kobayashi’s formative period as a director — scripted by the sister of his mentor Keisuke Kinoshita (and scored by Kinoshita‘s brother), this drama of middle-class life in postwar Japan tells the story lower-middle-class workers in the city of Kawasaki, and their troubles and travails. Read More »

Keisuke Kinoshita – Karumen kokyo ni kaeru AKA Carmen Comes Home [+extras] (1951)

Quote:
A light-heartedly humorous take on post-war female emancipation, Carmen Comes Home is a fairly typical offering from Shochiku, a studio renowned at the time for its conservative output specialising predominantly in comedies and domestic dramas based firmly within the framework of the traditional Japanese family structure. Produced at a time when the company’s fortunes were still riding high, to celebrate their 30th anniversary studio head Shiro Kido (himself the subject of a retrospective at the Nederlands Filmmuseum in 1994) allowed director Keisuke Kinoshita to direct this light and breezy comedy drama in Fujicolor, and thus Japan’s first ever colour motion picture came to be made. Read More »

Kajirô Yamamoto & Akira Kurosawa – Uma aka Horse (1941)

The story of the film is simple: A young girl in the countryside raises a young horse and develops a deep relationship to the animal. But the war is becoming part of life, so in the end she has to sacrifice her horse and sell it to the military. Read More »

Mikio Naruse – Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki AKA When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960)

Quote:
This is the story of Mama, a.k.a. Keiko, a middle-aged geisha who must choose to either get married or buy a bar of her own. Her family hounds her for money, her customers for her attention, and she is continually in debt. The life of a geisha is examined as well as the way in which the system traps and sometimes kills those in it. Read More »

Zenzô Matsuyama – Namonaku mazushiku utsukushiku AKA Happiness of Us Alone (1961)

Synopsis
The story is of two people. One is deaf, the other deaf and dumb. They marry after meeting at a school reunion, and the film follows their trials and tribulations … and joys.

Quote:
The directorial debut of longtime screenwriter and frequent Masaki Kobayashi collaborator Zenzo Matsuyama. Read More »

Zenzo Matsuyama – Na mo naku mazushiku utsukushiku aka Happiness of Us Alone (1961)



The directorial debut of longtime screenwriter and frequent Masaki Kobayashi
collaborator Zenzo Matsuyama, Happiness of Us Alone is a tour de force of humanist
cinema that stands as a landmark of the changing attitudes towards people with
disabilities in Japan. A sympathetic portrayal of the suffering of a deaf couple (played by
Matsuyama’s own wife, Hideko Takamine, and frequent co-star Keiju Kobayashi) at the
hands of a shell shocked postwar society that treats them like wayward children to be
at turns pitied or exploited, the film prefigures the wave of activist documentaries of the
1970s exploring mistreatment of the disabled by such filmmakers as Kazuo Hara, Noriaki
Tsuchimoto and Mariko Miyagi. Amidst a culture that traditionally sought to hide those
with disabilities from public view, Happiness of Us Alone charts the often disastrous
consequences of attempting to live an independent life in a society that isn’t yet prepared
to accommodate those who are different. Read More »