Street of Shame ★★★★

There actually isn't that much to say about this, at least the first time through, except that it's a Mizoguchi film about a group of prostitutes coping with the fickleness of day-to-day life amid the looming possibility of a ban on sex work that could leave them destitute, an issue it tackles without demonizing or glorifying anyone... so of course it's an incredible, prescient, beautifully acted and observed film. Maybe not as hard-hitting as Women of the Night and Sisters of the Gion, which deal with similar situations and themes, but equally lyrical and haunting -- especially that final shot. A perfect swansong from one of cinema's greatest and most sensitive directors. Exquisite score by Toshiro Mayuzumi.