The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present
A Hero of Tokyo
Shimizu’s final silent film is a deeply ironic and profoundly distilled treatise on the poor status of women in 1930s Japan. Abandoned by her corrupt second husband, Haruko (Mitsuko Yoshikawa), becomes a hostess in order to support her three children, a decision that has a profound impact on their subsequent lives. Shimizu’s subversive critique of Japanese militarism and ingrained attitudes to class, tradition and sexuality provides an incisive portrait of an increasingly conservative society. 35mm print courtesy of the National Film Archive of Japan.
Also screening on Wed 13 July
Making his directorial debut in 1924 at the age of 21, Hiroshi Shimizu (1903–1966) went on to make over 160 films in a career contemporaneous with widely acknowledged masters Yasujiro Ozu and Kenji Mizoguchi, in whose critical shadows he often, undeservedly, resided. The warmth and lightness of his work has always been highly praised but, as Alexander Jacoby notes, he shares with Jean Renoir the double-edged nature of such plaudits: “Those few critics who have written about Shimizu’s work tend to make him sound less interesting than he is.”
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About Melbourne Cinémathèque
Australia's longest-running film society, Melbourne Cinémathèque screens significant works of international cinema in the medium they were created, the way they would have originally screened.
Melbourne Cinémathèque is self-administered, volunteer-run, not-for-profit and membership-driven.