Sisters of the Gion Screen 4 articles

Sisters of the Gion

1936

Sisters of the Gion Poster
  • Women as furniture. Mizoguchi’s repeated placement of his female protagonists in the middle field of his three-tier deep-focus structures isn’t just a balancing technique, it establishes them at equivalent primacy with the foreground and background fixtures that dot these drab, over-crowded rooms.

  • The masterpiece of Kenji Mizoguchi's prewar period, a subtle and compact film (1936) that locates Mizoguchi's concern with the transitions of Japanese society in a conflict between two geisha sisters...

  • From its long opening tracking shot of a mansion where a bankrupt family's goods are being auctioned off to the final, harrowing climax, Mizoguchi's tale of two geisha sisters - one rebelling against her fate at the hands of fickle men, the other more conservative and accepting - is a bleak, enormously astute and affecting account of the physical, emotional and economic entrapment of women in traditional Japanese society.

  • Mizoguchi builds psychological tension through his use of long takes, saving close-ups for moments of portent or heightened emotion—as in the final shot, which shows his headstrong young victim of Japan's clash between modernism and tradition down but still fighting mad.

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