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Archive for June 12th, 2012

by Allan Fish

(Japan 1954 122m) DVD2 (Japan only, no English subs)

Aka. Osaka no yado

To laugh at our unhappiness

p  Katsuzou Shino, Ryousuke Okamoto  d  Heinosuke Gosho  w  Heinosuke Gosho, Toshio Yasumi  novel  Takitato Minakami  ph  Joji Ohara  ed  Nobu Nagata  m  Yasushi Akutagawa  art  Takashi Matsuyama

Shuji Sano (Kyoichi Mita), Nobuko Otowa (Uwabami), Mitsuko Mito (Orika), Hiroko Kawasaki (Otsugi), Sachiko Hidari (Oyone), Eiko Miyoshi (landlady), Haruo Tanaka (boss), Toshio Hasakawa (Tawara), Michiko Megumi (Kimiko Imoto), Hyo Kitazawa (Mr Imoto), Kyoko Anzai (Omitsu), Toranosuke Ogawa (Mr Noro), Jun Tatara (Ossan),

Despite the due reverence to his masterful Where Chimneys are Seen, it’s time to jump off that fence and make a bold statement; An Inn at Osaka, released the following year, is an even greater achievement by Heinosuke Gosho.  Even in that most star-studded of years for Japanese cinema, it ranks highly in the cosmos.  It’s so exquisite that one is left in a sense of reverence just by being lucky enough to see it.

Kyoichi Mita is an honest insurance man who has been demoted from Tokyo to Osaka after a disagreement with his superior.  Seeking lodgings he’s told by the drunken Ossan to go to the Suigetsu Inn in Tokabori district, where he lets room five from the widowed landlady (who happens to be Ossan’s sister).  Also there are three maids who work for the landlady.  The eldest, Otsugi, is trying to save money to pay for her son’s upkeep and to visit him occasionally at his school.  Orika is hounded by an unemployed husband for money.  Oyone is young and is only interested in men and has worked at similar establishments as a prostitute.

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