The Films of Keisuke Kinoshita

The Ballad of Narayama

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The Ballad of Narayama
Narayama bushi ko | Keisuke Kinoshita, 1958
Japan | Format: DCP | 98 minutes

One of Kinoshita’s boldest films, The Ballad of Narayama features the combination of traditional kabuki theater with modern film technique. In a remote mountain village, the custom is to leave those who reach the age of 70 on the slopes of the mountain, so that precious resources can be directed to the young. As Orin (Kinuyo Tanaka) is approaching her destiny, her loving and dutiful son refuses to participate in the ritual, forcing Orin, who believes it must be done for the good of the community, decides to take matters into her own hands. The movements are all stylized, the sets and lighting highly theatrical, to create the effect that the action is transpiring in some realm between actual history and myth.  Named Best Japanese Film of 1958 by Kinema Junpo magazine.

Series: The Films of Keisuke Kinoshita

Venue: Walter Reade Theater

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