When a Woman Ascends the Stairs, made in 1959, is the culmination of a run of masterpieces Naruse reeled off in the 1950s. Soli Deo Gloria. Posted on August 26, 2007 by afinpassing [Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki] 1960 – Japan. After Mother (1952), Late Chrysanthemums (1954), Floating Clouds (1955), and Flowing (1956), he was ready to tackle the newly prosperous, go-getter Japan. The culmination of it all feels like madness and at times there’s a surplus in the reservoirs of tragedy, but the final action, the smile on the face, the token salutation, are a final touch of irony. Martin Scorsese on Vertigo - … ’s debut feature represented a quantum leap in the audiovisual grammar of Mexican cinema. I’m not sure if we could call it her stairway toward the “glass ceiling” exactly but she enters a new world — a restricting space — when she steps into work every evening. When a Woman Ascends the Stairs. The scene where Sekine’s real wife tells Keiko that her husband keeps getting into trouble by chasing women and believing his own lies, while children circle the empty lot on a beat-up bike trailing a tin can, with power-plant stacks in the distance, is classic forlorn Naruse. One old lady comments on how you can still see the old Tokyo, but it’s obvious — even the classy scoring and the generally sleek compositions suggest as much — modern society is upon us in full force. Should she seek a … Even here, the American influence is felt with many of the bars deriving their names from English. In some ways mismatched to the job, since she does not like liquor, refuses to sleep around, and has a proud, choosy character, she stands out from the stereotypical bar girl, which is why so many of the male characters find her a challenge and want to seduce her. It’s the undercurrent of Tokyo if you wander into the red district or happen to step outside the confines of the beautifully cultivated exterior. Are you familiar with Mikio Naruse? Release Calendar DVD & Blu-ray Releases Top Rated Movies Most Popular Movies Browse Movies by Genre Top Box Office Showtimes & Tickets Showtimes & Tickets In Theaters Coming Soon Coming Soon Movie News India Movie Spotlight. When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960) External Reviews. When a woman ascends the stairs might be Japanese filmmaker Mikio Naruse's finest hour, a delicate, devastating study of a woman, Keiko (played heartbreakingly by Hideko Takamine), who works as a bar hostess in Tokyo's very modern postwar Ginza district, who entertains businessmen after work. And though he had been making films starting from the silent era, Naruse had no trouble adjusting his objective style to a cooler, sixties mode. Expressive lighting touches, like the sudden luminosity of Takamine’s face in the fortune-telling scene, or after she sleeps with Fujisaki, are made more effective by their rarity. Though we cannot but sympathize with Keiko, we are also allowed to judge her dispassionately. Still, just as Sirk was capable of dissecting American life, I would wager Naruse is equally adept when it comes to Japan. The stairs in question are those of a bar in the red-light district of Tokyo and the woman who ascends them is Mama-San, the bar's chief hostess, but the stairs may just as well be those of a brothel for the girls who work these bars are basically prostitutes, (even in Japan in 1960 you could never be that explicit). When a Woman Ascends the Stairs could also be titled 'when a woman goes into business.' Offers. Played by the glamorous Takamine Hideko (1924– 2010), Keiko is older and wiser than her peers and is most desired by male customers. When a Woman Ascends the Stairs. Either path seems to involve a sacrifice of independence. In a sense, she represents a more traditional Japanese set of values, in contrast to the mod, pecuniary libertinism sprouting up around her. Playing at Stanford University on 4/13. © 2020 Film Inquiry. This is an exceptional modern melodrama, reminiscent of Mizoguchi and in some ways Antonioni in its … 12:34. Still, her entire existence can be summed up by one early shot: presenting the daunting stairs winding up ahead of her toward her livelihood. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, she works with her longtime manager and bill collector (Tatsuya Nakadai), trying to eke by an existence, paying off the creditors they must pay rent to. When a Woman Ascends the Stairs - Mikio Naruse FILM REVIEW - Duration: 12:34. Capturing the tense mood of a new millennium, Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s debut feature explores the hidden spaces of Mexico City at a moment of political turbulence and extreme social stratification. Because they hold the power. But in a manner indicative of Japanese culture, Keiko must deal with a nagging mother and a useless brother who are constantly dependent on her for money.

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