FIGHTING DELINQUENTS
KUTABARE GURENTAI
1960, Nikkatsu, 80 min, Japan, Dir: Seijun Suzuki

This is Suzuki's first film starring teen idol Wada Kōji. Kōji plays a young construction worker whose wacky antics annoy the stiff-necked adults of his town until he takes on a crooked real-estate developer and saves the community. It’s also Suzuki's first color film, and he paints the town red, as it were. Text courtesy of Doc Films.


THE LIFE OF OHARU
SAIKAKU ICHIDAI ONNA
1952, Janus Films, 137 min, Japan, Dir: Kenji Mizoguchi

Based on one of Japan’s first novels, the 17th-century The Woman Who Loved Love by Saikaku Ihara. Kinuyo Tanaka is Oharu, a samurai’s daughter expelled from her station as a lady-in-waiting at the Imperial Palace for falling in love with a man below her rank. Driven into exile along with her parents, she soon resorts to being a kept woman, then finally a common prostitute. Mizoguchi expertly walks a tightrope, delivering an unflinching examination of a sensitive woman’s emotional brutalization without manipulative sentimentality. Another masterwork. With Ichiro Sugai and Toshiro Mifune.


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