The Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi (1898-1956) made many films that dealt with women and their problems. He has therefore been dubbed “the feminist director.” I saw four of his films:
- 1951: Miss Oyu (お遊さま – Oyū-sama)
- 1952: The Life of Oharu (西鶴一代女 – Saikaku ichidai onna)
- 1953: Ugetsu aka Tales of Moonlight and Rain (雨月物語 – Ugetsu monogatari)
- 1956: Street of Shame (赤線地帯 – Akasen chitai)
Unfortunately, this wasn’t my cup of tea. Wikipedia describes his style this way:
Mizoguchi’s films have an aesthetic that is reminiscent of Japanese art. He favoured long takes and rich, painterly mise-en-scene, seldom with the Western-favoured device of the close-up; a typical shot can take a few minutes, and places emphasis on lighting and placement (…)
Although it was fun to watch a movie based on a short story by Ihara Saikaku (The Life of Oharu), the films mostly bored me – with one exception: Street of Shame. That movie is about the women in a brothel in a time when the city discusses a ban on prostitution. I found it engaging and surprisingly up-to-date, since prostitution was banned in Sweden in 1999.