The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present
Notes of an Itinerant Performer
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.
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 (1903–66) 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.”
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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.