The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums
Director: Mizoguchi Kenji
Script: Kawaguchi Matsutarô, Yoda Yoshikata d’après le roman de Muramatsu Shofu
Cinematographer: Fuji Yozo, Miki Shigeto
Music: Fukai Shiro, Ito Senji
Cast: Hanayagi Shotaro, Mori Kakuko, Takada Kokichi, Kawarazaki Gonjuro, Umemura Yoko, ArashiTokusaburo
5-7 Impasse Carrière-Mainguet
75 011 Paris
Tel: 0033 1 42 24 10 86
DCP, B / W, 143 min,
O.V. Japanese with French Subtitles
Tokyo at the end of the 19th century. Kikunosuke, a young extremely popular kabuki actor has a lot of success with women. In truth, he is not a very good actor, which no one dares to tell him for he is the descendant of a long line of famous actors. Otuku, the family’s domestic help, is the only one to talk to him openly and to encourage him to improve his stage technique. The two young people gradually become closer. When Kikunosuke’s family find out that they are in love, Otoku is immediately sent back home. The young actor then decides to leave Tokyo and join his loved one in Osaka.
Mizoguchi traces a brilliant portrait of woman, sacrificed in the name of artistic ideals. The filmmaker has decided to pay tribute to Japanese theatre, to its prestige but also to its cruelty, through the story of this young kabuki actor, Kikunosuke Onoe, inspired by a true story. He introduces here a new form of film language, as unusual as it is poetic, with carefully studied framing and multiple sequence shots in which the actors are centred in each camera movement.
Artistic creation, in spite of social restrictions, can be freed by the force of love.