SOUTHEAST ASIAN PREMIERE
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Runtime: 136 minutes
Based on the novel The Life of an Amorous Woman by poet Ihara Saikaku, Kenji Mizoguchi’s seminal work, chronicles the tragic downfall of a once-proud noblewoman—the eponymous Oharu, played by Kinuyo Tanaka—who is exiled for her illicit affair with Katsunosuke (Toshiro Mifune), a lowly page. Afflicted by the vicissitudes of fate, she fights for her dignity and life amidst the cruelty of society and strict moral codes of feudal-era Japan.
Life of Oharu is among the most celebrated of the 15 collaborations between Tanaka and Mizuguchi and is often cited as one of Tanaka’s greatest roles. Unfairly labelled as only the ‘muse’ of auteur-director Mizoguchi, Tanaka, whose prolific career and star image, along with her powerful and dynamic screen presence, is now being reframed by film studies scholars, proposing to re-centre the authority of performance, instead of rendering it as secondary to directing.
Retrospective: Kinuyo Tanaka is held in conjunction with the Japanese Film Festival of Singapore, and has been made possible with the generous support of the Japan Foundation.
For the full Retrospective: Kinuyo Tanaka programme, please visit here.
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