Poll

What's your favorite film by Mikio Naruse?

Kimi to wakarete (After Our Separation)
0 (0%)
Yogoto no yume (Each Night I Dream)
0 (0%)
Three Sisters with Maiden Hearts
0 (0%)
Tsuma yo bara no yo ni (Kimiko)
0 (0%)
Hideko, the Bus Conductress
0 (0%)
Uta-andon (The Song Lantern)
0 (0%)
Ginza kesh (Ginza Cosmetics)
0 (0%)
Meshi (Repast)
1 (5.3%)
Okaasan (Mother)
1 (5.3%)
Inazuma (Lightning)
0 (0%)
Ffu (Husband and Wife)
0 (0%)
Ani imto (Older Brother, Younger Sister)
0 (0%)
Yama no oto (The Thunder of the Mountain)
1 (5.3%)
Bangiku (Late Chrysanthemums)
0 (0%)
Ukigumo (Floating Clouds)
0 (0%)
Sh u (Sudden Rain)
0 (0%)
Nagareru (Flowing)
1 (5.3%)
Iwashigumo (Summer Clouds)
0 (0%)
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs
3 (15.8%)
Daughters, Wives and a Mother
0 (0%)
Hourou-ki (A Wanderer's Notebook)
0 (0%)
Midareru (Yearning)
0 (0%)
The Stranger Within a Woman
0 (0%)
Midaregumo (Scattered Clouds)
0 (0%)
other (specify)
0 (0%)
haven't seen any
11 (57.9%)
don't like any
1 (5.3%)

Total Members Voted: 19

Author Topic: Naruse, Mikio  (Read 6169 times)

Sandy

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Re: Naruse Mikio - Director's Best
« Reply #70 on: February 23, 2013, 10:38:37 PM »

sdedalus

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Re: Naruse Mikio - Director's Best
« Reply #71 on: February 24, 2013, 12:53:56 AM »
I do not doubt that.
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sdedalus

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Re: Naruse Mikio - Director's Best
« Reply #72 on: February 24, 2013, 12:39:44 PM »
Hmmm. . . no.
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Re: Naruse Mikio - Director's Best
« Reply #73 on: December 15, 2013, 05:41:34 AM »
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (B)
Scattered Clouds (B)

I am pretty amBivalent to him.

roujin

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Re: Naruse Mikio - Director's Best
« Reply #74 on: March 21, 2014, 01:38:11 PM »
Floating Clouds was pretty excellent. Need to explore more Hideko Takamine goodness.

MartinTeller

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Re: Naruse Mikio - Director's Best
« Reply #75 on: July 16, 2014, 09:17:19 PM »
worm pretty much hit the nail on the head regarding this one...



Ginza Cosmetics - Don't feel much like writing tonight, and I don't have a lot to say about this one anyway.  The plot concerns an aging bar hostess named Yukiko (Kinuyo Tanaka) trying to make ends meet and support her young son Haruo (Yoshihiro Nishikubo).  It's pretty standard stuff for Naruse, and he would tackle similar subject matter much more effectively in films like Late Chrysanthemums and When a Woman Ascends the Stairs.  Here, his restraint is too suffocating and the film feels a bit flat and lifeless.  Sometimes you have to let a melodrama be melodramatic.  However, Tanaka (a regular for both Naruse and Mizoguchi) is quite good, as usual.  The most interesting thing about the movie is how flawed her character is.  She lies to her best friend Shizue (Ranko Hanai) and her willingness to put Haruo in the care of other bar employees (or more often, let him fend for himself) makes her more complex than the usual long-suffering mother who sacrifices everything for her child.

The best section of the movie comes in the third act, when Shizue asks Yukiko to look after her "true love" (Yji Hori) for a couple of days while she tends to a client.  It's only at this point that we get a real feel for what Yukiko has given up, the lost potential as her education and natural intelligence are wasted.  Otherwise, the film is certainly competent and even mildly engaging, but too bland to be of much interest outside of diehard Naruse fanatics.  Rating: Good (70)
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jascook

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Re: Naruse Mikio - Director's Best
« Reply #76 on: July 22, 2014, 10:15:17 AM »
No Blood Relation: 7/10
Flunky, Work Hard!: 6/10
« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 12:51:57 AM by jascook »
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MartinTeller

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Re: Naruse Mikio - Director's Best
« Reply #77 on: October 04, 2014, 06:15:19 PM »

Yearning - Reiko (Hideko Takamine) lost her husband in the war, after only 6 months of marriage.  Nonetheless, she has devoted her life to her in-laws: mother Shizu (Aiko Mamasu), sisters Hisako (Mitsuko Kusabue) and Takako (Yumi Shirakawa) and brother Koji (Yz Kayama).  It was Reiko who rebuilt the family's grocery store when it was bombed.  18 years later, Hisako and Takako are out of the house and Koji is a lazy drunk who spends his time gambling and skirt chasing, so it's Reiko who runs the store.  But now supermarkets are popping up, luring customers away from the family store.  As the family tries to restructure their business, the business threatens to restructure the family.

Sometimes you just don't connect with a movie.  Although this appears to be one of Naruse's most well-regarded films, it started to lose me the more it went on.  I got more and more frustrated with Reiko, and frustration became annoyance.  The ending which some call "devastating" struck me mostly as cheap, stupid and meaningless.  The final shot is compelling, thanks primarily to the expressiveness of Takamine's face, but I wasn't moved by Reiko's situation.  Maybe there comes a point where you've seen so many movies about Japanese women repressing their feelings that it stops being a touching, tragic scenario.

Takamine is really good, though, and Kayama is great at these unlikable douchebags who manage to show another side of themselves (see also: Red Beard).  The camerawork is thoughtful, the telling compositions very typical for Naruse.  Also typical for Naruse is the focus on economic detail, and I was quite interested in the grocery business... more so than the emotions being churned up in the second act (the film's Japanese title is "Midareru", which most closely translates to "Turmoil" than "Yearning").

I wish this picture had the impact on me that it seems to have on other Naruse fans.  Perhaps on another day I'd have gotten more out of it.  Rating: Good (73)
« Last Edit: October 04, 2014, 08:01:07 PM by MartinTeller »
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roujin

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Re: Naruse Mikio - Director's Best
« Reply #78 on: October 19, 2014, 02:27:11 PM »
1. Wife! Be Like a Rose! (1935)
2. Floating Clouds (1955)
3. When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960)
4. Every Night Dreams (1933)

1SO

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Re: Naruse, Mikio
« Reply #79 on: August 04, 2019, 03:20:46 PM »
1. Repast
2. Floating Clouds
3. When a Woman Ascends the Stairs
4. Late Chrysanthemums
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