• Sincerity

    Sincerity

    Cute friendship between the two girls.

  • Tsuruhachi and Tsurujiro

    Tsuruhachi and Tsurujiro

    Fascinating to compare this with Mizoguchi's The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum which he directed the following year.

    Mizoguchi's style is just far superior to Naruse's, but Naruse's characters are drawn better. I wanted to rate this a little higher, but the arguing sometimes gets repetitive in the first half, and I'm not sure I like the ending.

  • Learn from Experience, Part Two

    Learn from Experience, Part Two

    Part 2

    Not bad melodrama for an evening, but nothing memorable either. The women were all enjoyable to watch.

  • Learn from Experience, Part One

    Learn from Experience, Part One

    Not bad melodrama for an evening, but nothing memorable either. The women were all enjoyable to watch.

  • Avalanche

    Avalanche

    "Commit double suicide with me!"
    "What? Why?"
    "I can't tell you. I don't want to tell you why. Let's just do it."

  • A Woman's Sorrows

    A Woman's Sorrows

    movie.

    Irie Takako was in a bunch of these late 1930s Naruse films, and this was my least favorite.

  • Morning's Tree-Lined Street

    Morning's Tree-Lined Street

    Pretty good, outstanding really until I'm not sure Naruse stuck the landing. Lots of clever turns in this one. Sachiko Chiba was great.

  • Man of the House

    Man of the House

    Who directed this, Naruse or Mizoguchi?

    Seriously this was more like a Mizoguchi film, but better than his movies were directed around that same time. Not really a favorite, but the main guy was a solid anti-hero and this held my interest enough. In the days before streaming, I could totally see myself casually watching this on NHK at 2 a.m. in the middle of the night.

  • Wife! Be Like a Rose!

    Wife! Be Like a Rose!

    Considered Mikio Naruse's best pre-war film (it won the Kinemo Junpo award for Best Picture in 1935), Wife! Be Like a Rose! draws striking comparisons to Ozu's 1934-1936 films, particularly The Only Son and A Story of Floating Weeds. The ending is almost the same as Floating Weeds, just slight variation.

    Really this film is fine but I can't help but compare to Ozu's superior craftsmanship. The Girl in the Rumor stands on its own ground, so I definitely still consider that one to be my favorite Naruse to this point in his career.

  • The Girl in the Rumor

    The Girl in the Rumor

    ★★★★½

    Outstanding 54 minute feature. The Girl in the Rumor feels like a fresher and more intimate 1930s version of Ozu's The End of Summer. Like David Bordwell, I prefer Naruse with snappier, more modern tempo, and there is a lot going on in this busy film, but it feels perfectly orchestrated. Some nice quiet moments of reflection too.

  • Three Sisters with Maiden Hearts

    Three Sisters with Maiden Hearts

    First Naruse I liked without reservation...

  • The Actress and the Poet

    The Actress and the Poet

    ★★★½

    The Actress and the Poet feels like a forgettable old Japanese TV episode sometimes, but turns out surprisingly funny and enjoyable. Absolutely loved the comedy between the rehearsal scenes and real fighting. I have no idea if I'll ever remember this early Naruse talkie, but it was an easy and humorous watch while running through his long filmography.