Notes of an Itinerant Performer (1941) National Film Archive of Japan
Notes of an Itinerant Performer (1941) National Film Archive of Japan
Notes of an Itinerant Performer (1941) National Film Archive of Japan

The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present

Notes of an Itinerant Performer

Hiroshi Shimizu | Japan | 1941 | Unclassified (15+)

This event has ended and tickets are no longer available.


Wed 6 Jul 2022

One of Shimizu’s least political works, tempered by the restricted filmmaking conditions on the cusp of World War II, tells the story of a travelling performer (Yaeko Mizutani) who seeks to reinvent herself by moving in with the family of a kindly tea merchant. Demonstrating Shimizu’s extraordinary technical skill and relentless innovation, this minimalist drama touches on social issues during the Meiji Era such as hardships faced by women and class differences, ending in an ambiguous resolution of the romantic couple. 35mm print courtesy of the National Film Archive of Japan.

Format: 35mm, Black & White
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
Source: National Film Archive of Japan
Courtesy: National Film Archive of Japan
Runtime: 98 mins

Event duration

98 mins


Unclassified (15+)


Cinema 1, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

How to get there

Membership options

Mini membership
(3 consecutive weeks)

Annual memberships

See full options

Also screening on Wed 6 July

About the program

Making his directorial debut in 1924 at the age of 21, Hiroshi Shimizu (1903–66) 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.”

Read the full program notes
Director Hiroshi Shimizu

Plan your visit

Read our COVIDSafe visitor guidelines, information on accessibility, amenities, transport, dining options and more.

Start planning

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. 

Learn more | View the 2022 program | See membership options

Melbourne Cinémathèque - Dirk Bogarde in a still from Victim