Archive of films Miss Oyu / Oyû-sama

Japan
1951, 95 min

Section: Tribute to Kenji Mizoguchi
Year: 2017

Oyu is a young widow with a child, flattered by attention from Shinnosuke but unable to marry him because social propriety dictates that she should remain faithful to her late husband. So Shinnosuke seeks out and marries Oyu’s sister Oshizu instead and the three begin living together. The scandalous ménage à trois of Tanizaki’s celebrated novel Ashikari brings a certain wit to its account of the emotional manoeuvring between the three main characters.


Synopsis

Tanizaki’s celebrated novel Ashikari (also known as The Reed Cutter) proved hard to adapt in 1951 because it centres on a scandalous ménage à trois, and Mizoguchi declared himself dissatisfied with the result. But the film boasts another excellent performance from Tanaka Kinuyo, and it brings a certain wit to its account of the emotional manoeuvring between the three main characters. Oyu is a young widow with a child, flattered by attention from Shinnosuke but unable to marry him because social propriety dictates that she should remain faithful to her late husband. So Shinnosuke seeks out and marries Oyu’s sister Oshizu instead and the three begin living together. This was Mizoguchi’s first film with the great cinematographer Miyagawa Kazuo, who went on to shoot all but one of Mizoguchi’s last eight films at the Daiei company, and he succeeds in giving the images the quality of a half-remembered idyll.

Tony Rayns

Contacts

The Japan Foundation
4-16-3 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, 160-0004, Tokyo
Japan
Tel: +81 355 623 535
Fax: +81 355 623 500
E-mail: film_tv_and_publication_division@jpf.go.jp, film@jpf.go.jp
www: www.jpf.go.jp

Kadokawa Corporation
1-8-19 Fujimi, Chiyoda-ku, 102-8078, Tokyo
Japan
Tel: +81 368 931 625
E-mail: okada-w@kadokawa.jp

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Tribute to Kenji Mizoguchi
   
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Screenplay: Yoshikata Yoda podle novely / based on the novel The Reed Cutter by Junichiro Tanizaki
Dir. of Photography: Kazuo Miyagawa
Music: Fumio Hayasaka
Editor: Mitsuzo Miyata
Art Director: Hiroshi Mizutani
Producer: Masaichi Nagata
Production: Daiei, Kyoto
Cast: Kinuyo Tanaka, Nobuko Otowa, Yuji Hori, Eijiro Yanagi, Eitaro Shindo
Sales: Kadokawa Corporation
Contact: The Japan Foundation
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