The Directorspective: Kenji Mizoguchi (1898 - 1956)
Internationally respected as one of the greatest film directors of all time, Kenji Mizoguchi’s work often revealed his sympathy for the exploited and was famed for opposing themes - light and shadow, harshness and beauty, and the role of the individual amidst the pressures of society.
Sun 24 Oct 4.00pm
The Water Magician (Taki no Shiraito) pg
Accompanied by a ‘benshi’, the traditional form of Japanese silent film narration, with live musical accompaniment by xxx
One of the masterpieces of Japanese silent cinema. Legendary actress Takako Irie stars as a water juggler in a troupe of travelling circus performers, who falls in love with a coach driver, ultimately leading to tragedy.
Japan 1933 Dir. Kenji Mizoguchi 98 min.
Sun 31 Oct 6.00pm
The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (Zangiku Monogatari)
A young man tries to follow in the steps of his famous actor father, but lacks the necessary focus and discipline. He falls in love with the nurse, but when she is sacked, he defies his family and follows her to a far off place.
Japan 1939 Dir. Kenji Mizoguchi 142 min.
Wed 3 Nov 6.30pm
Ugetsu Monogatari pg
This film is a searing portrait of two couples in sixteenth century Japan, damning in its depiction of the societal patriarchy of the time. A chilling tale, simultaneously historical drama and truly scary ghost story.
Japan 1953 Dir. Kenji Mizoguchi 94 min.
Wed 3 Nov 8.30pm
Sansho The Bailiff (Sanshô dayû) pg
Sansho is a hauntingly graceful film about a medieval Japanese family's brutal separation, self realisation and discovery. Mizoguchi's trademark juxtaposition of humanity with nature explores our transitory suffering and lack of control over our complicated lives, without judging our frailties.
Japan 1954 Dir. Kenji Mizoguchi 124 min.
All films are in Japanese with English subtitles unless otherwise stated.
Film tickets from £8.50 online