In 8th-century China, the Emperor is grieving over the death of his wife. The Yang family wants to provide the Emperor with a consort so that they may consolidate their influence over the ... See full summary »
Ishun is a wealthy, but unsympathetic, master printer who has wrongly accused his wife and best employee of being lovers. To escape punishment, the accused run away together, but Ishun is certain to be ruined if word gets out.
In post-war Japan, sixteen-year-old Eiko seeks out the geisha Miyoharu in the district of Gion, in Kyoto asking her to be a maiko (geisha apprentice). Eiko explains that her mother - who ... See full summary »
Hatsuko Umabuchi is a widow who runs a prosperous geisha house in present-day Kyoto. Her daughter Yukiko returns from Tokyo following a failed suicide attempt, after her lover found out ... See full summary »
Special Forces commander Captain Tadamori returns to Kyoto after successfully defeating the uprising of pirates in the western sea of Japan. But because the high courtiers dislike career ... See full summary »
Shinnosuke is introduced to Shizu as a prospective wife, but he falls in love with her widowed sister Oyu. Convention forbids Oyu to marry because she has to raise her son as the head of ... See full summary »
Five prostitutes work at Dreamland, in Tokyo's Yoshiwara district. As the Diet considers a ban on prostitution, the women's daily dramas play out. Each has dreams and motivations. Hanae is married, her husband unemployed; they have a young child. Yumeko, a widow, uses her earnings to raise and support her son, who's now old enough to work and care for her. The aging Yorie has a man who wants to marry her. Yasumi saves money diligently to pay her debt and get out; she also has a suitor who wants to marry her, but she has other plans for him. Mickey seems the most devil-may-care, until her father comes from Kobe to bring her news of her family and ask her to come home.Written by
The personal tales of various prostitutes who occupy a Japanese brothel.
Okay, so the opening music is wild. And then for most of the film the music is very mellow or non-existent. What are we to make of this? I have no idea.
Criterion has put this film in their box set of Mizoguchi's "fallen women", appropriately enough. For over twenty years, he really captured women in questionable roles -- from adulteress to prostitute, and never did it in a way that exploited them or shamed them. He was honest and fair.
Some people like his early work better, some like the later stuff. This is his last film, and indeed the polished look is far different from his earliest attempts. Good or bad? Hard to say. One wonders if the war could change a man and his art...
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this