The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums – Review

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The first moment in which I saw Kenji Mizoguchi’s The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums, the impact was beyond overwhelming to that point my writing had been stinted from going even further than what I had wished when I wanted to talk about what it had left upon me. The only thing I could ever pick out, however, was that it had broken my heart the way no other Mizoguchi film has done so, and I knew from first glance that only he could have handled such a story so masterfully. Yet this was unlike anything that I have seen from Mizoguchi, as the moment in which it had ended, I found myself in a wrecked state. I was wrecked because I was witnessing pain. Pain which I had also felt upon myself, it was all the more difficult to describe. Mizoguchi’s masterpiece, but also one for all of humanity. Continue reading →

Sansho the Bailiff – Review

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It’s often known that Japan is the home to some of the most humanistic of world cinema. With the films of Akira Kurosawa and Yasujiro Ozu coming into thought, it is no surprise but often cited as the greatest of the masters of Japanese cinema is Kenji Mizoguchi. Often cited as the first major feminist filmmaker, Mizoguchi’s films are often known for how they depict women and their struggles within Japanese society. Though of all the films that I’ve seen from such a wonderful filmmaker, the one that always stood out to me as the very best of the bunch is none other than the heartbreaking Sansho the Bailiff. This particularly is a rather difficult film to revisit on my end mostly because of how much emotion it can elicit from a viewing. But the manner in which it earns such strong reactions, however, is what I feel represents some of the best in cinema. Continue reading →