Tag Archives: Machiko Kyô

Hiroshi Shimizu – Odoriko aka Dancing Girl (1957)

In Asakusa, Tokyo, a couple of a violinist Yamano and a revue dancer Hanae lives in poverty. One day Hanae’s little sister rolls into their apartment and begins to stir things up with her riotousness. Read More »

Kenji Mizoguchi – Ugetsu monogatari aka Ugetsu [Kadokawa 4K remaster] (1953)

An ambitious potter (Masayuki Mori) and his devoted spouse (Kinuyo Tanaka) as well as a kindred couple (Eitaro Ozawa, Mitsuko Mito) are torn apart by the civil-war chaos of 16th-century Japan. Both men realize their material dreams but at a tragic cost to their respective mates. In particular, Mori’s shallow success is reflected in his delirious romance with a ghostly noblewoman (Machiko Kyo), an affair that will drive him to the brink of madness. One of the most poignant evocations of the illusory nature of worldly desires and missed opportunities and one of the most haunting depictions of the supernatural ever committed to celluloid. Winner of the 1953 Venice Film Festival Silver Lion Award. Read More »

Kon Ichikawa – Anata to watashi no aikotoba: Sayônara, konnichiwa AKA Goodbye, Hello (1959)

There is little to nothing written in English about this film, and in fact of the entire Cinemateque Ontario Ichikawa Kon tome the only mention of Goodbye, Hello was in the extensive filmography. This was one of the films Ichikawa made for Daiei that he co-wrote with his wife Wado Natto, the pair being one of world cinema’s great husband and wife collaborations. Ichikawa worked with the cinematographer for Goodbye, Hello, Kobayashi Setsuo, on some of his best looking films: Ten Dark Women, Fires on the Plain, and An Actor’s Revenge. Actress Kyo Machiko was certainly a familiar face in Ichikawa’s films, starring in Odd Obsession and The Pit. Judging by cast and crew alone, this looks like prime Ichikawa, and I personally find this period of his filmmaking (late 50s, early 60s) the most interesting. Read More »

Kenji Misumi – Nyokei kazoku AKA The Third Will (1963)

Misumi directs an adaptation of a famous novel written by Yamasaki Toyoko, writer whose works were adapted numerous times for TV (Shiroi Kyotō is a sort of cult here in Japan) and for the big screen.
Kyō Machiko, Wakao Ayako and Takada Miwa star in a story about a wealthy family and the greed and selfishness of his three daughters, and relatives, after the passing of their old father. The movie casts a dim light on family relationships and money, where the only ray of hope seems to come from the younger generations.
Cinematography, music and editing are top-notch, the manner in which Misumi and his editor cut from one scene to the following in many passages of the film is really mesmerizing. Read More »

Kôzaburô Yoshimura – Yoru no chô AKA Night Butterflies (1957)

As Japan became more prosperous, the Ginza district of Tokyo emerged as the luxury bar and cabaret center it remains to this day. While the charming and beautiful women who operate these establishments are privy to political and financial deals of national importance, Yoshimura’s film reveals that their hopes, their businesses and their very lives are as fragile as butterflies. Read More »

Kinuyo Tanaka – Ruten no ôhi AKA The Wandering Princess (1960)

Pu Zhe, the younger brother of the Emperor of Manchukuo, Pu Wen, marries Ryuko the daughter of a long-established aristocratic family – all in the interest of the Japanese rulers, which legitimizes the relationship between Japan and its Chinese puppet state. To the surprise of all , a deep love between Pu Zhe and Ryuko develops. It is put to the test when Japan loses the war, Manchukuo is dissolved and the imperial court must flee. The lovers now have to separate: Pu Zhe tries to escape to Japan with his brother, while Ryuko flees with her daughter Eisei over the country. A film on the relationship between Pujie (1907-94), brother of the “last emperor” Puyi and his second wife, Marquise Hiro Saga (1914-87). Read More »

Kon Ichikawa – Kagi AKA Odd Obsession (1959)

Winner of Cannes’ Special Jury Prize, Odd Obsession is one of acclaimed director Kon Ichikawa’s (Tokyo Olympiad, The Burmese Harp) greatest works. This captivating blend of comic satire and drama follows an elderly man’s attempts to satisfy his younger wife (Machiko Kyo, Rashomon, Gate of Hell). When “potency” injections fail, Mr. Kenmochi incites his own jealousy by orchestrating an affair between his wife and his doctor, who happens to be his daughter’s fiance. The wife and doctor are eager to oblige Kenmochi, his daughter is furious, and the scheme proves both a success and a deadly disaster. With dazzling imagery, rich irony, and superb acting, Odd Obsession illuminates the ongoing battle between personal desire and societal convention. Read More »