The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present
Ozu regular Chishu Ryu plays a soldier who stabs his foot on a hairpin at a rural spa before finding hesitant romance with its owner (the legendary Kinuyo Tanaka). Shimizu’s poignant, ineffably light romance includes a generous ensemble of spa residents watching on, willing the lead couple to overcome their reticence. Not well-received by a highly imperialist country about to enter World War II, when militaristic propaganda was the literal order of the day, Shimizu’s understated humanism, elegant tracking shots and playful optimism marked a very particular kind of rebellion.
35mm print courtesy of the National Film Archive of Japan.
Also screening on Wed 29 June
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
The Masseurs and a Woman (1938) – Wed 13 Jul, 7pm
Mr. Thank You (1936) – Wed 13 Jul, 8:20pm
A Hero of Tokyo (1935) – Wed 13 Jul, 9.45pm
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.