Sachiko Hidari

  • Yûzô Kawashima – Bakumatsu Taiyoden aka Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate AKA The Sun Legend of the End of the Tokugawa Era (1957)

    Set in the last few years of the shogun’s rule, this period/ensemble movie depicts the lives of the young and the restless at a whorehouse. The protagonist is Saheiji, a resourceful, witty free spirit. It’s 1862, 6 years before the Shogun turned his political power over to the Emperor. Penniless Saheiji splashes out at a famous Shinagawa whorehouse. He’s forced to stay on at the whorehouse to repay his debt. At first Saheiji is regarded as an unwelcome guest who never leaves but it turns out he is not just a poor grifter. None of the whorehouse’s guests, hosts, servants and attending ladies are innocent but they are pragmatic schemers. Saheiji soon endears himself to them all and solves many whorehouse disputes with his wit. But it is slowly revealed that the seemingly perfect Saheiji is suffering from tuberculosis and his future is uncertain…Read More »

  • Sachiko Hidari – The Far Road AKA Toi ippon no michi (1977)

    A landmark in Japanese cinema, The Far Road is the first feature film planned, produced, and directed as well as starred in by a woman, Sachiko Hidari. Inspired by her many years of work as an actress in the films of such illustrious directors as Heinosuke Gosho and Yasuzo Masumura (also represented in the current series), she uses a spare cinematic style to tell the story of a fight for human dignity: a living wage and job security in the face of mechanization of the railroads. The film was financed by the National Railways Workers Union, whose members, because they work for a “public corporation,” do not have the right to strike.
    – BAMPFA (1979)Read More »

  • Yasuzô Masumura – Danryu AKA Warm Current [+Extra] (1957)

    Remake of Yoshimura Kozaburo’s 1939 film of the same title, originally adapted from a novel by Kishida Kunio. Together with scenarist Shirasaka Yoshio, Masumura re-imagines a traditional melodrama as a fast-paced comedy of manners. Includes a cameo appearance by the singer Miwa Akihiro.

    The story revolves around a young man appointed to rescue a troubled hospital, and who must choose between two women, a dedicated nurse or a spoiled rich girl.Read More »

  • Susumu Hani – Kanojo to kare AKA She and He (1963)

    One of Hani’s recurring themes was the status of women in modern society. His first attempt at the subject was this Antonioniesque melodrama set in a sterile high rise complex. A woman resident becomes discontent with the empty life she and her husband are leading. They encounter a street beggar who lives in poverty with his dog and a blind orphan. The woman becomes fascinated by the beggar’s world and pursues a friendship which leads to terrible discord and a tragedy.Read More »

  • Satsuo Yamamoto – Niguruma no uta AKA Song of the Cart-Pullers (1959)

    In Song of the Cart-Pullers (Niguruma no uta, 1959) one of his most visually captivating works, Satsuo Yamamoto resurrected, through the struggles of three-generation family in rural Hiroshima Prefacture, an intimate history of Japanese peasant life, from the harsh late Meiji years to the Taisho Rice Riots and the tragedies of the pacific war.Read More »

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