Called "Japanís truest creator" by film legend Akira Kurosawa, director and painter Kenji Mizoguchi (1898–1956), with his ravishing pictorial style and portrayals of women in period settings, always felt he dwelled in "the climate of beauty." The historical eras that Mizoguchi explores are bound by strict codes of behavior and thought, which the director challenges with his humanistic, anti-feudal, anti-traditional sensibility.
Based on a 17th-century fable, The Life of Oharu (1952, 133 min.) begins with a samuraiís daughter (Kinuyo Tanaka) being seduced by a servant (Toshiro Mifune) in Kyotoís imperial palace. Having disgraced her family, Oharu descends from court favorite to courtesan to street prostitute over the years. This, "the finest film ever made in any country about the oppression of women," finally grants Oharu a moment of transcendent peace.
Other films in this series, presented in conjunction with the exhibition Fleeting Beauty, include:April 11: Ugetsu April 25: Utamaro and His Five Women May 2: Sansho the Bailiff
Prices above are for the entire film series. Series tickets may be purchased at the Ticketing Desk at any of SAM's three sites, or over the phone with a credit card by calling the SAM Box Office at 206.654.3121.
Single-film tickets are $7 for everyone, sold day of show at the auditorium (cash/check only).