The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present
The Masseurs and a Woman
Two wisecracking blind masseurs, a mysterious woman on the run, a travelling salesman and his nephew are brought together by happenstance at a remote mountain resort in Shimizu’s disarmingly funny film. As a love triangle develops – and a spate of bath-house thefts is investigated – this elegantly meandering exploration of love and loneliness weaves in and out of interconnected stories, offering shifting perspectives on human connection in pre-war Japan.
35mm print courtesy of the Japan Foundation
Also screening on Wed 13 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
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.