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Konyaku yubiwa | Keisuke Kinoshita, 1950
Japan | Format: 35mm | 96 minutes
Two of Japan’s finest actors, Kinuyo Tanaka and Toshiro Mifune, come together in this touching seaside melodrama beautifully photographed by Kinoshita’s regular cinematographer, Hiroshi Kusuda. Seeking a cure for her ailing husband, a woman who runs a successful jewelry business in Tokyo brings him to a new doctor outside the city. Her husband begins to recover, but the woman finds herself falling in love with the doctor. Kinoshita avoids big dramatic exchanges, preferring to chronicle the rising tensions among the three through quick glances or furtive gestures. Tanaka beautifully captures the contradictions of the wife, a woman who has made her own way in the world who can’t control or fully understand the emotions she’s suddenly feeling, while Mifune plays the doctor as volcano of energy threatening to explode at any moment.
Print courtesy of the Tokyo Culture Creation Project in collaboration with the Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture and TOKYO FILMeX.