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

The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present

Ornamental Hairpin

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

This event has ended and tickets are no longer available.


Wed 29 Jun 2022

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
Runtime: 70 mins

Event duration

70 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 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

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