Tag Archives: Isuzu Yamada

Yûzô Kawashima & Mikio Naruse – Yoru no nagare AKA Evening Stream (1960)

A woman and her daughter are in love with the same man, a chef at the restaurant that the mother manages. He is slightly crippled from frostbite in his years in Siberian labor camps and considers himself “already dead.” Read More »

Yûzô Kawashima – Noren AKA The Shop Curtain (1958)

Yuzo Kawashima’s adaptation of Toyoko Yamasaki’s first novel. Read More »

Akira Kurosawa – Donzoko AKA The Lower Depths (1957)

Synopsis:
Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa transferred the setting of Maxim Gorky’s play The Lower Depths from Imperial Russia to his own country’s Edo Period–which, like Gorky’s 19th-century setting, was an era of great cultural advances, offset by the miseries of those who weren’t in the aristocracy. Kurosawa’s film concentrates on Toshiro Mifune, playing a crooked gambler who falls in love with the sister (Kyoko Kagawa) of his cruel landlady (Isuzu Yamada). Herself carrying a torch for Mifune, the landlady exacts a roundabout revenge by killing her own husband and pinning the blame on the gambler. As the landlady descends into madness, those whom she has treated wretchedly laugh at her plight. Read More »

Kon Ichikawa – Okuman choja aka A Billionaire (1954)

A full description of the film can be found in James Quandt’s edited collection of writings on (and by) Ichikawa Kon from the Cinemateque Ontario (in Sato Tadao’s essay “Kon Ichikawa” on pages 109 – 111). A Billionaire was one of a handful of 50s comedies that Ichikawa directed that were extremely successful at the box office. These films were characterized by rapid-fire dialogue and biting social commentary (others like this include Pu-San and Mr Lucky). This is definitely a period of Ichikawa’s career that deserves more focus from the West. Read More »