Archive for August 10th, 2010

by Allan Fish

(Japan 1971 124m) DVD2 (Japan/France only, no Eng subs)

Aka.  Kokuhakuteki joyuron

When did I start acting?

p  Keiji Isoda, Sei Okamura, Yoshishige Yoshida, Junya Katsumata  d  Yoshishige Yoshida  w  Masahiro Yamada, Yoshishige Yoshida  ph  Genkichi Hasegawa  ed  Shiro Watanabe  m  Sei Ichiyanagi  art  Setsu Asakura

Mariko Okada (Kazumori Shoko), Ineko Arima (Mamiko Isaku), Ruriko Asaoka (Akiko Kaido), Miyoko Akaza (Kyoko), Toshiyuki Hosokawa (Makiko’s father), Isao Kimura (Nose), Kazuko Ineno (Kiriko Nose), Kiwako Taichi (Rie), Yumeji Tsukioka (Mamiko’s mother), Daigo Kusano (laundryman), Rentaro Mikuni (Minakawa),

Sitting down now in front of PC, digits hovering over keyboard, yours truly feels like he has just awoken from a session with a hypnotist and, stiff from my time on the couch, am trying to string together the piecemeal of the ‘lost’ time.  Strange to call it lost, for as I write it’s the third time I have finished Yoshida’s masterpiece in the same 24 hours.  Yet it’s Yoshida, that he requires multiple viewings is not so much a given, it’s not even to be mentioned.  Mention it and it’s like the secret of life, like the Scottish play to actors.  And acting is what it’s all about, at least what it could be interpreted to be all about. 

            The actresses of the title essentially number three.  Mazumori Shoko has lost her voice, or at least has dreamt she’s lost it, and speaks by proxy through her assistant and would-be actress, Rie.  While this latest ‘stunt’ puts her shooting schedule behind, that of another film (or is it another film?) is similarly delayed by the antics of Akiko Kaido, who thinks the wife of a lover is out to kill her with acid and whose lover actually is having an affair with another woman, Kyoko.  Last but never least, there’s Isaku, who arrives with her devoted costumier in her old home town, and proceeds to tell her of her one-time brush with double-suicide with a lover.  What she doesn’t say is that it wasn’t her only attempt at suicide and, more disturbingly, that the lover may have been her own father.  (more…)

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