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Chikamatsu monogatari (1954) - movie overview

Chikamatsu monogatari (1954)

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Plot Description

Running Time
1 hour, 42 minutes

Country Japan

Studio Daiei

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Other Titles
• Chikamatsu monogatari
• The Crucified Lovers

• Die Legende vom Meister der Rollbilder (1954)
• A Story from Chikamatsu
• The Tale of the Crucified Lovers
• Tales of Chikamatsu (1955)

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Genre: Drama, Love, Infidelity, Melodrama, Period Piece, Suspense, Marriage

Plot: Director Kenji Mizoguchi again employs the repertoire of bunraku in this tale of lovers thwarted by the constricting feudal hierarchy of 17th-century Japan. Ky˘ko Kagawa and Kazuo Hasegawa star as, respectively, the wife, Osan, and clerk, Mohei, of Ishun (Eitar˘ Shind˘), a wealthy and corrupt scrollmaker. When Osan's brother asks her for help in paying a debt, she turns to Mohei, who agrees to use his master's seal to dispense the money she needs. Although he refuses to implicate Osan, Mohei is forced to confess his actions to Ishun, who publicly humiliates the clerk and locks him in a storeroom. Through a series of complications, Ishun arrives at the mistaken belief that Osan and Mohei are lovers. Mohei is instantly dismissed and forced into exile. But when Ishun offers a seppuku knife to Osan, she refuses ritual suicide, knowing that she's committed no crime, and escapes from her husband's house. The director counterposes the high-angle shots, vertical architecture, and entrapping shadows of Ishun's establishment--visual metaphors for the rigidity of this feudal society--with the simple grandeur of nature--a visual metaphor for love--in a compelling denunciation of destructive social mores.

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 Directed by
Kenji Mizoguchi
Tales of Ugetsu, Sansh˘ dayű, Saikaku ichidai onna
 Written by
Monzaemon Chikamatsu
Yoru no tsuzumi
Kazuo Hasegawa
Jigokumon, Yotsuya kaidan, Genji monogatari
Haruo Tanaka
Doomed / Ikiru, Miyamoto Musashi kanketsuhen: kett˘ Ganryűjima, Ohayou
Chieko Naniwa
Throne of Blood, Sansh˘ dayű, Higanbana
Tatsuya Ishiguro
Jigokumon, Nobi, Y˘kihi
Hisao Toake
Tokyo Story, Dorodarake no seishun
 Music By
Fumio Hayasaka
Seven Samurai, In the Woods, Doomed / Ikiru

 Recommended Movies
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Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)
Cranes Are Flying, The (1957)
Sansh˘ dayű (1954)
Baie des anges, La (1963)

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