Mizoguchi, Kenji

Mizoguchi, Kenji,

1898–1956, Japanese film director. Mizoguchi made more than 80 features, but some 50 from the silent film and early sound years have not survived. He is particularly known for films that portray the lives of women, whom he often depicts as suffering and sacrificing in a male-controlled society. These include A Geisha (1953) and A Woman of Rumor (1954); 19 of his extant works have female protagonists. Many of his films are set in historical periods, e.g., the Meiji period in another melodrama of female sacrifice, The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (1939). His films also are known for their beauty and sense of place, their lengthy and distant shots, and their fluid camera movement. He achieved international fame when three of his films won consecutive awards at the Venice Film Festival: The Life of Oharu (1952), Ugetsu (1953), and Sansho the Bailiff (1954); Ugetsu, an elegant ghost story, especially helped Japanese cinema to come to the attention of Western audiences. Mizoguchi, Akira KurosawaKurosawa, Akira
, 1910–98, Japanese film director, scriptwriter, and producer, b. Tokyo. He is regarded as one of the world's greatest directors. In Rashomon (1950), he introduced Western audiences to Japanese film.
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, and Yasujiro OzuOzu, Yasujiro,
1903–63, Japanese film director. Ozu began working at a Tokyo studio in 1923, became an assistant director in 1926, and directed his first feature in 1927. He made 35 silent films before turning to sound in 1936.
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 are generally considered the finest filmmakers of Japanese cinema's golden age.


See T. Sato, Kenji Mizoguchi and the Art of Japanese Cinema (2008).