A GEISHA (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953)

Kenji Mizoguchi’s Gion bayashi—literally, Gion Festival Music—is captivating and (pardon) biting. This time, the “period” is contemporary, that is, postwar Japan; the location, the Gion district of Kyoto. Through two geishas, who both chafe at the restrictive tradition male-biased society expects them to uphold, Mizoguchi suggests a budding impulse toward female autonomy and self-determination. As […]