FILMS / THE MUNAKATA SISTERS
THE MUNAKATA SISTERS / 宗方姉妹
JFF2011 Films

(C) 1966 TOHO Co. Ltd.

> HIDEKO THE BUS CONDUCTRESS
> LIGHTNING
> WHEN A WOMAN ASCENDS THE STAIRS
> YEARNING
> THE MUNAKATA SISTERS
> IMMORTAL LOVE
> TIL WE MEET AGAIN
> THE STRAITS OF HUNGER
> THE YOUNG WOMEN OF IZU
> WHERE CHIMNEYS ARE SEEN
> WOMAN OF THE MIST
> STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES
> BIRTHRIGHT

> MOTHER WATER
> MEGANE
> POOL
> KAMOME DINER

> ANTENNA
> GREEN MIND METAL BATS
> SKETCHES OF KAITAN CITY
> THE DAYS AFTER

1950, 112min, b/w, 35mm, Japanese with English subtitles, PG
Directed by OZU Yasujiro / 小津 安二郎
Print Source – JAPAN FOUNDATION
SCREENING
3 Jul Sun - 2.00pm
Focus on TAKAMINE Hideko

Two sisters come to Kyoto from Tokyo to visit their dying father. Setsuko (Tanaka Kinuyo), the elder of the two, is resigned to her life as the hostess of a bar she has opened to support herself and her perpetually unemployed husband. The younger sister, Mariko (Takamine), is an audacious postwar freethinker who tries to pry Setsuko away from her husband and reunite her with an old flame. The sisters' attitudes represent a deep division in Japanese society between prewar tradition and postwar modernity. This atmospheric and picturesque film was Ozu's first departure from Shochiku studios, in response to a lucrative offer from Shintoho.

OZU Yasujiro
The elements of Ozu Yasujiro's famously minimalist mature style can be itemized in just a few phrases: camera placed three feet above the floor, eye-height of someone seated on a tatami mat; simple cuts, not fades or dissolves; static shots sans tracking or pans. But no laundry list of techniques can capture the essence of Ozu (1903-1963) and the subtle grace with which he tells the simplest of stories. Tokyo-born Ozu was a movie buff from childhood, often playing hooky from school in order to see Hollywood movies in his local theater. In 1923 he landed a job as a camera assistant at Shochiku Studios in Tokyo. Three years later he was made an assistant director and directed his first film the next year. Ozu made 35 silent films, and a trilogy of youth comedies with serious overtones he turned out in the late 1920s and early 1930s placed him in the front ranks of Japanese directors. He made his first sound film in 1936, The Only Son (1936), but was drafted into the Japanese Army the next year, being posted to China for two years and then to Singapore when World War II started. Shortly before the war ended he was captured by British forces and spent six months in a POW facility. At war's end he went back to Shochiku, and his experiences during the war resulted in his making more serious, thoughtful films at a much slower pace than he had previously.

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Japanese Film Festival Singapore 2011 | シンガポール日本映画祭 2011 | July 2-10 | Gallery Theatre National Museum of Singapore