Saturday, May 07, 2011

The Geisha Life

Watched Apart From You, early melodrama from Mikio Naruse, who, like Mizoguchi, was especially attentive to the limited role of women in pre-war Japanese culture. This is a story of both desperation and shame: an aging geisha's son, ashamed of his mother's life, stops going to school and joins a gang. The girl he loves is also a geisha, but her own family cares less about honor than the money she brings home. Simply told, deeply felt. Interesting precursor to Naruse's masterful When A Woman Ascends the Stairs.

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