Driven by curiosity, I soon found out how Mizoguchi tried to prevent actress Kinuyo Tanaka from becoming a film director. Both directors have focussed their attention on women and how they relate to men. She knows that no real connection between client and geisha forms, that the man uses the woman and practically discards her along with the contraceptive. Umekichi is abandoned by her bankrupt patron Shimbei when he is given the chance to manage a factory in the country where his wife has retired, and she ends up caring for Omocha after her hospitalization for her injuries. She tries to console herself that she at least tried to bring some happiness to her man, even though her kindness was only taken for granted. Of course, companies are usually created to make money and are not breathing, feeling entities. The partitions in the opening shot predict the ubiquitous uses of frames, walls and doors to separate characters physically, a reflection of their emotional isolation.
In one scene Omocha talks to Kimura Taizo Fukami about a new kimono and she takes his cigarette from his hand only to put it straight back in his mouth after she finished with it. Part of The Lure of Japan film series, presenting Japanese cinema in celebration of the special exhibition. Hilariously, Mizoguchi uses some of his few close-ups in this single scene, cutting to Omocha's encouraging face as the frame tightens in a slight haze around the edges -- it's too pronounced to be a matter of focus, yet too crystalline to be print damage -- as if the geisha was exerting some form of hypnotic control on the man, a Dr. She has little use for Umekichi's patron Furusawa Benkei Shiganoya , a man newly destitute. He admires directors that can tell a story first of all in images. They both offer more sophisticated characterisations than the typical Hollywood screen stereotypes depicting innocent women victimized by cruel masters.
Furusawa and tells him he has become a burden and that he should move out. Exchanges that removed from human instigation are cold but necessary for survival. This kind of distancing effect is stronger and the social message more forceful in Sisters of the Gion than in its predecessor. However her younger sister Omocha tells her she is wasting her time and money on a loser. That film closed with a shot of its protagonist, played by Isuzu Yamada, walking toward the camera with steely resolve. But by casting these characters as they have done, the filmmakers have distanced the viewer from constant identification with any single character, and this places the larger social context into a sharper focus. His ideas wrapped in a romantic story of survival, the filmmaker underscores them from the first images onward.
Individuals are likewise driven to establish personal security and this basic idea is a primary concern of Kenji Mizoguchi's excellent Sisters of the Gion. The consequences will now have to be paid. After one of them feels obliged to support a bankrupt businessman, the other sets up various schemes to get rid of him. The two women have very different outlooks on relationships with men. In particular, Isuzu Yamada, who played the defiant Ayako in Osaka Elegy, reprises her role of an independent woman, this time in the role of Omocha.
And there is more variety to his women. Sisters of the Gion screens at 2pm, followed by The Life of Oharu at 3:45pm. Just as the beginning of Osaka Elegy conveyed the film's theme and style, so too does Gion's first shot s lay the foundation of what's to come: Mizoguchi tracks through separate rooms, but he moves outside the doorways, not through them. The sisters are unable to work within shifting dynamics; Mizoguchi makes it clear that this marketplace confuses the emotional transactions contained within. Often, one character sits in the foreground while another figures into the background seen in deep focus, of course , and Mizoguchi simultaneously highlights the distance between them as he shrinks that space by segmenting the foreground from the background via a door frame. Women are always at a disadvantage when the terms are dictated by savagery and physical violence. It doesn't matter whether, like Umekichi, a woman submits or, like Omocha, a woman rebels: there is simply no escape.
Umekichi is then told that Furusawa has left town. The fluid cinematography is actually the outstanding feature of this film, and it will become even more of a Mizoguchi trademark in his subsequent work. Sisters of the Gion Trailer 1936 15 October 69 mins Umekichi, a geisha in the Gion district of Kyoto, feels obliged to help her lover Furusawa when he asks to stay with her after becoming bankrupt and leaving his wife. First she flirts with a clothing shop clerk, Kimura, in order to get him to steal an expensive kimono for her sister, a needed accoutrement in order to attract a new, wealthy patron. Enjoy two films for the price of one! Worship does not equal respect and obsession does not equal love. Umekichci, raised from childhood to be a geisha, adheres to the traditions of the role: always dressed in proper kimonos, she entertains only one patron at a time and submits to their requests without hesitation.
The cinematography in Sister of the Gion is also more fluid and sophisticated than that of Osaka Elegy. He takes the money but, rather than leaving, spends it drinking and takes up residence with his former clerk. There are many memorable moments in Sisters of the Gion and it clearly has an element of daring feminism to it. If we compare the two films, however, we see that Sisters of the Gion exhibits a number of advances over its predecessor. The film is seen as a companion piece to Mizoguchi's which shares much of the same cast and production team. We then move on to the auctioneer, eagerly scanning what turns out to be an excited crowd of bidders.
Mabuse in silk and clogs. Omocha of course holds even more sway, as she understands her abilities and uses them. In Sisters of the Gion, the look into the roles of Japanese women of the 1930s is tied closely with presiding economic forces. When the older sister extends help to the pitiful benefactor, O-Mocha conspires to remove him and establish the more financially secure Jurakudo Fumio Okura as patron. Both Osaka Elegy and Sisters of the Gion show women struggling to survive in unfair circumstances. These themes are familiar in the director's oeuvre, but here they are quite exquisitely and profoundly intertwined. Kimura, the dry goods shop clerk who stole the kimono for Omocha, is found out by his proud and dictatorial boss, Mr Kudo.