WOMEN OF THE NIGHT (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1948)

Yasujiro Ozu’s Kaze no naka no mendori—in the States, A Hen in the Wind—and Kenji Mizoguchi’s Yoru no onnatachi might be considered film sisters; both are from 1948, both address Japan’s postwar socioeconomic devastation, one in Tokyo, the other in Osaka, as reflected in the protagonist’s dip or slip into prostitution, and both (brilliantly) star […]

CIRCUS (Grigori Aleksandrov, 1936)

The film musical peaked during sound’s first decade: in Germany, G. W. Pabst’s The Threepenny Opera and Erik Charell’s The Congress Dances (both 1931); in France, René Clair’s Under Paris Roofs (1930) and Le million (1931); in the U.S., King Vidor’s Hallelujah! (1929), Archie Mayo’s Go Into Your Dance (1935), and the best of the […]