Floating, Drifting, Meandering: Naruse Mikio’s Bittersweet Films
Why We Recommend it
This retrospective celebrates the elegant cinema of forgotten Japanese filmmaker Naruse Mikio (1905 – 1969) by screening a selection of his best works.
Though lesser known than his contemporaries Yasujirō Ozu, Akira Kurosawa and Kenji Mizoguchi, Mikio “the forgotten fourth Japanese master” Naruse’s films are not any less significant, deep or aesthetically beautiful. Kurosawa (1910 – 1998), who is regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema, referred to Naruse’s work as “a great river with a calm surface and a raging current in its depths”.
Curated by Hong Kong Cine Fan, this retrospective screens six works that best represent Naruse’s oeuvre, which is characterised by themes of feminine perseverance and life’s uncertainties, as well as family drama and the intersection of traditional and modern Japanese culture.
Programme highlights include the melodrama When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960) and Scattered Clouds (1962). The former follows a young widow who works as a senior bar hostess, as she attempts to remain resilient in the face of financial difficulty, a self-serving family and a series of devastating betrayals. The latter is a wistful tale about a young widow who meets and falls in love with the man who killed her husband in a traffic accident.
Photo: Scattered Clouds, 1967. Credit: TOHO Co., ltd. All rights reserved.