Sunday, January 14, 2007

"Long Take on Mizoguchi" Film series at NWFF : Jan 26 - Feb 28


Mizoguchi series at the Film Forum running Jan. 26 - Feb. 28 spanning his most well known and considered films. Including the war tragedy/ghost story "Ugetsu" and the rarely seen in the west "Sisters of the Gion", the latter being an (atypical for the time) examination of the life of the geisha and a criticism of the social position of women in the then-changing Meiji period. Beautifully shot black and white tragedies that delve into the depths of human experience often through the themes of societal and personal injustice. These themes more often than not, explored from the perspective of female protagonists - seriously tragic and beautiful stuff by turns.

NWFF "Long Take in Mizoguchi" site

From the Northwest Film Forum:

"Born impoverished in 1898 Tokyo and exposed first-hand from an early age to the systematic oppression of women in Japanese society - his sister was sold as a geisha and his father abused his mother and sister - pantheon film director Kenji Mizoguchi had numerous influences molding his worldview. From early silent films such as A PAPER DOLLS WHISPER OF SPRING (KAMI NINGYORU NO SASAYAKI, 1926), to his first sound masterworks OSAKA ELEGY (NANIWA EREJI, 1936) and STORY OF THE LAST CHRYSANTHEMUM (ZANGIKU MONOGATARI, 1939), to such final treasures as UGETSU (1953) and SANSHO THE BAILIFF (SANSHO DAYU, 1954), Mizoguchi created a sublimely timeless body of work that transcends the aggression and exploitation of the world-at-large. A painstaking attention to period detail, lighting, frame composition and long takes, coupled with his intuitive outlook and empathy for his characters, reveal a simple poetry of supernatural power. Along with Akira Kurosawa and Yasujiro Ozu, Mizoguchi remains at the pinnacle of not just Japan's motion picture legacy, but of international cinema. All films in Japanese with English subtitles. Seven New 35mm Prints!