The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present
Although Shimizu was dubbed a “genius” by Ozu and Mizoguchi, and is now widely celebrated for his portraits of the lives of disaffected children and women, he was also an incisive and critical chronicler of his times. Tracing the paths of two villagers as they separate in their hometown and move to Tokyo independently, Shimizu’s penetrating film is a chronicle of traditional Japan and its displacement by modernity. Although not openly critical of the rise of militarism it paints a bittersweet vision of lost values.
35mm print courtesy of the National Film Archive of Japan.
Also screening on Wed 6 July
Ornamental Hairpin (1941) – Wed 29 Jun, 7pm
A Woman Crying in Spring (1933) – Wed 29 Jun, 8.25pm
Eclipse (1934) – Wed 6 Jul, 7pm
Notes of an Itinerant Performer (1941) – Wed 6 Jul, 8.50pm
Mr. Thank You (1936) – Wed 13 Jul, 7pm
A Hero of Tokyo (1935) – Wed 13 Jul, 8.25pm
The Masseurs and a Woman (1938) – Wed 13 Jul, 9.40pm
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.