Minato no Nihon musume

港の日本娘 [videorecording] - Minato no Nihon musume

DVD - 2009 | Japanese
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Set in the modernizing port town of Yokohama. Dora and Sunako are two best friends who become torn apart by jealousy and violent revenge. Tells of the humiliating downfall experienced by Sunako after jealousy drives her to commit a terrible crime.
Publisher: [Irvington, NY] : The Criterion Collection, [2009]
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (71 min.) : si., b&w ; 4 3/4 in.
Additional Contributors (Original Script): 松竹株式会社
北林透馬
斎藤達雄
逢初夢子
沢蘭子
江川宇礼雄
井上雪子
及川道子
陶山密
清水宏

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Nursebob
Dec 14, 2014

Hiroshi Shimizu’s silent melodrama features some wonderfully natural performances and (for the time) innovative camerawork as people fade in and out of existence and interactions are often framed by an open door or shadowed hallway. Foregoing the scene-chewing drama of many of his Hollywood contemporaries, Shimizu instead maintains a respectful distance from his characters bordering on detachment; we are allowed to view their pain but we cannot truly share in it. Furthermore, his use of seemingly innocuous background props to underscore a scene’s emotional impact is both clever and highly effective; a simple skein of yarn hints at infidelity, a cup and saucer left in the rain carry tragic overtones and a crude portrait floating in a ship’s wake signals both an ending and a beginning. Some may be put off by it’s rather formalized and episodic presentation, but I found Japanese Girls to be a captivating example of early Japanese cinema.

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