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  • When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

    When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

    ★★★★★

    this is some movie. takamine's mama-san may be an easy character to feel sorry for, but her motivations contain enough complexity that once should guard against that. naruse views her as objectively as possible and so should we. she doesn't need our help to climb those stairs. An incredibly moving film.

  • Street of Shame

    Street of Shame

    ★★★★★

    i've read that street of shame wasn't supposed to be mizoguchi's final film, but its final shot almost suggests otherwise. what a remarkable way to go out for the most feminist of japanese directors. a woman caught between a wall and her own place in the world. simply devastating. and the film turned out to be politically relevant. i loved the entire cast but Ayako Wakao is my favorite.