Shimizu, Ornamental Hairpin
Shimizu, Ornamental Hairpin
Ornamental Hairpin (1941) National Film Archive of Japan

The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present

Ornamental Hairpin

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

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.

Format: 35mm, Black & White
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
Source: National Film Archive of Japan
Courtesy: National Film Archive of Japan
Duration: 70 mins

When

Duration

70 mins

Rating

Unclassified (15+)

Where

Cinema 1, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

How to get there

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$27–$32

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$153–295

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Also screening on Wed 29 June

About the program

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.”

Read the full program notes
Director Hiroshi Shimizu

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