A tribute to jazz diva Anita O'Day, completed just weeks before her death in November 2006.
Experience a calf’s first year of life as it grows up in Jasper National Park amid some of the most striking scenery on the planet.
Says Kaneto Shindo, "Mizoguchi was totally and utterly Japanese. He was unique in that he was not in any way influenced by the directors of the West. He preferred long takes, and managed to squeeze into that one take all the trials and tribulations of life." Shindo's "The Life of a Film Director" concerns itself with the life and work of Kenji Mizoguchi.
Life of Oharu features Kinuyo Tanaka in the title role. Oharu is a middle-aged prostitute in 17th century Japan. As she prays before a statue of Buddha, Oharu reviews her past. Her road to degradation began when, as a teenager, she disgraced her family by falling in love with a samurai (Toshiro Mifune). Oharu became the mistress of a prince, who cast her off after she bore his son. She was then sold into prostitution by her father, and thus began a catch-as-catch-can existence alternating between brief happiness with those she genuinely loved and servitude to those she despised. A potential happy ending, reuniting her with her royal son, is dashed by the much-maligned Oharu herself, who opts for the life of a beggar. Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi, a lifelong advocate of equitable treatment for Japanese women, Life of Oharu was adapted from a novel by Saikaku Ibara.
I think that it is fantastic to see that Kenji Mizoguchi's films are slowly making their way to Blu-ray. The Life of Oharu, one of the Japanese master's best films, now looks quite wonderful, and I cannot recommend it highly-enough to anyone interested in classic Japanese cinema. I would also like to encourage you to consider adding to your collections The Mizoguchi Collection, which contains four Mizoguchi's films, including the terrific Utamaro and His Five Women and Osaka Elegy, that are no currently available on Blu-ray in North America. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.