Mizoguchi's Aienkyo

David Hopkins hopkat at sa2.so-net.ne.jp
Mon Aug 6 21:09:14 EDT 2001

I got to see this film at Planet plus One in Osaka on Sunday and was
tremendously impressed with its strongly feminist and anti-authoritarian
stance. Why isn't this better known? I looked it up in Richie and Anderson
and thought that they probably had not seen it, since the description didn't
match well on a couple of key points.

A couple of questions.
The film depicts a style of "manzai" I have never seen before, which
featured not only the punning cross-talk usually associated with manzai but
also a lot of song snippets and a melodrama-farce. How typical is this? In
Ise Mairi (?), for example, Miss Wakana and company only do the cross-talk
style (Abbott and Costello are American manzai, for comparison.)

Why isn't this more prominent in the Mizoguchi canon? A 1937 film with these
themes should be better known....

David Hopkins

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