Action / Drama

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


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720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
963.24 MB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 57 min
P/S ...
1.84 GB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 57 min
P/S 0 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by boblipton10 / 10

"Geisha" Literally Means "Skillful Person"

Isuzu Yamada is the owner of one of the most respected geisha houses in Tokyo. However, business isn't good. She borrowed 300,000 yen from her sister for her lover, who has since left her. He daughter, Hideko Takamine, has no interest in being a geisha or marrying. Seiji Miyaguchi, the foul-mouthed uncle of a former employee, is demanding money.

Mikio Naruse's movie, derived from Aya Kôda's novel, is an excellent, if typical work from the director. Ozu might direct movies about how families stay together in a changing Japan. Naruse more often worked in the tragedy of those who go under. Over the course of two hours, we watch as these characters slowly reveal themselves to us, not by the artfully and obviously-placed camera, seated unmoving at floor level, but through the eyes of newly-hired maid-of-all-work Kinuyo Tanaka. Naruse's style in unremarkable for its moment in cinema history, working near the top end of technical expertise. People don't act, they behave, and we tell what they are thinking by observing the rifts between these great actresses' behavior in one scene and the next.

Reviewed by net_orders7 / 10

Portraits (Of Business Women) as Plot.

FLOWING / HOUSE OF GEISHA (NAGARERU). Viewed on Streaming. Script = seven (7) stars; subtitles = seven (7) stars; restoration = three (3) stars; sound = two (2) stars. Director Mikio Naruse's depiction of modern female economic power-roles every way equivalent (for better or worse) to those of males. Naruse packs his business sub-cultural tale with just about every post-war A-List actress out there, or so it would seem (plus one Neko). This is an actress's showcase film, and the Director ensures that his cast delivers the goods big time! Acting-not-action and drama-not-melodrama drives the photo-play. For a De Facto backdrop, the Director employs a "standard-issue" geisha house (GH) that serves as a home and place of business for related/unrelated multiple generations of women (plus day-time trainees). The narrative grows out of a compounded "insider view" of small, every-day issues/concerns related to the operation and decline of a once prestigious, traditional (providing asexual male-client entertainment and good listening) GH in the midst of cultural change (the growing popularity of illegal prostitution--just about anything made illegal will increase demand!) and heightened economic competition (restaurant outsourcing to brothels, GH consolidation, etc.) not to mention a string of poor financial decisions made by its owner. Principal actresses lineup includes (but is not at all limited to): Natsuko Kahara as the mercenary older sister of the GH owner who holds the mortgage on the place and charges her sister interest; Chieko Nakakita who is the owner's younger sister, was abandoned by her husband, and has now moved back in with a small daughter (already undergoing geisha training); Haruko Sugimura as an almost-past-her-prime neighbor who is always around, always broke, always provides some humor, and supposed to be in charge of arranging bookings; Hideko Takamine playing a beautiful, but mysterious daughter of the GH owner, fully trained as a geisha, but wanting nothing more to do with the business; Kinuyo Tanaka who steals every scene she is in by playing a lower-class widowed housewife turned GH maid; and Isuzu Yamada as the almost-past-her-prime GH owner who has mortgaged her business to the hilt and is not above skimming the earnings of her geisha "sisters." (It is a tribute to such talented actresses--and, of course, Naruse--that the viewer can follow all that's going on without a score card!) Cinematography (narrow screen, gray & off-white--see below) seems okay, but some scenes are under-lit (even though all were shot on a sound stage). Restoration is very poor and troubling (if not down right insulting) for such an enduring film. (And this was streamed off the new FilmStruck/Criterion site no less!) The print is gray-fog city. Artifacts often appear where reels would seem to have been spliced together originally. Audio is mostly a disaster zone. Dialog readings sound like they were sent over an antique phone line! There is simply very little dynamic range resulting in voices coming across as harsh and unfriendly. Volume significantly varies from scene to scene. Age-based noise artifacts occur through the film. Subtitles are fine. So is the limited orchestral music (used mainly under the opening and closing credits). Highly recommended (especially if/when restored). WILLIAM FLANIGAN, PhD.

Reviewed by GyatsoLa9 / 10

flowing.... sinking

'Flowing' is a moving, beautifully made story centered around the demise of a long established geisha house, drowned under mounting debts. We witness the story largely through the eyes of the new maid Rika (Kinuyo Tenaka) as the elegant but unworldly mistress of the house Otsuta (Isuzu Yamata) tries to save her business. In this she is aided by her more worldly daughter Katsuyo (Hideko Takamine),but she is undermined by her hard-nosed older sister and an apparently sympathetic senior geisha guild member.

There is really nothing to this story - just an episode in the death of an older world, but its told with great sensitivity and not a little humour. There is a very funny scene where two drunken geisha joke about how little they have to do to make their money. But the overwhelming feeling is nostalgia and sadness as these women fight the dying of their business in a harsh world where women without husbands are thrown onto their own devices. It is also unusual in that it deals honestly and frankly with the aging process and the fear of poverty in old age.

The reputation of Naruse seems to be increasing all the time - he is surely in the top rank of directors. This is the first of his movies that I've seen, but I would definitely want to see more. Every scene is beautifully framed with lovely sets and wonderful, naturalistic acting. There is a rare sense of authenticity about this movie. It is worth seeing both as an example of a terrific movie (it is genuinely compelling and entertaining) and a fascinating insight into another world.

Strongly recommended both for film buffs who want to know more about this fine director, and for anyone interested in Japanese culture.

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