Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Miss Yamada is Waiting for You

(She has passed, at the age of 95. A repost from two summers ago.)

The collage is formed from Ryuichi Sakamoto's music and the five movies Isuzu Yamada made with Kenji Mizoguchi, 1935-36: Downfall of Osen, Oyuki the Madonna, Osaka Elegy, Sisters of Gion and the recently discovered Ojo Okichi (a Mizoguchi co-direction). Of the four members from the inner circle of Japanese Classical Actresses (Setsuko Hara, Hideko Takemine, Kinuyo Tanaka are the others), Isuzu Yamada is the most melodramatic and moving, the most beautiful and erotic, and certainly the loneliest. Under Mizoguchi, her atmosphere is like pure oxygen; if you breath it deep it can make you dizzy and joyful, or poison you. Her always melancholy eyes and faintly hollowed cheeks make it seem as if she is feeding on her own beauty.