Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Watch us on Youtube Join the Archive Mailing List Read our Blog

Kenji Mizoguchi

January 16, 2015 -
February 15, 2015

Although Kenji Mizoguchi is widely regarded as one of the greatest directors in the history of cinema, screenings of his movies are rare.  The core of Mizoguchi’s greatness is his use of the medium to convey a profound worldview, one that moves between social commentary, a deep feeling for tragedy and romance, and a transcendent sense of man’s—and woman’s—place in the cosmos.  The plight of women in a restrictive society is a recurring theme in his films, and many of his films are melodramas about the clash between women’s desires and the restrictions of social tradition.  Mizoguchi, whose masterful use of tracking shots and compositions that move between close-ups and tableaus, always viewed his deeply human dramas with a cosmic perspective.  No director made movies that were so intensely emotional without being overly sentimental, and movies that were so rigorous in their portrayal of the social order, yet so profoundly in touch with the human experience.  This series, drawn from a major retrospective presented at Museum of the Moving Image last summer, showcases a selection of Mizoguchi’s acknowledged masterpieces.

The Mizoguchi retrospective at Museum of the Moving Image was organized by Chief Curator David Schwartz and Assistant Film Curator Aliza Ma.  Program notes adapted from the Museum of the Moving Image program.

Special thanks to:  David Schwartz, Aliza Ma—Museum of the Moving Image; Tatsuya Kawashima—The Japan Foundation; and Richard Suchenski—Bard College.

Past Programs & Events

Title Date and Time Location

The 47 Ronin  (Pt. 1 & 2)

Sunday, February 15, 2015 - 7:00 pm Billy Wilder Theater

The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum

Friday, February 6, 2015 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater

Life of Oharu

Friday, January 30, 2015 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater

Utamaro and His Five Women

Monday, January 26, 2015 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater

Sansho the Bailiff

Friday, January 23, 2015 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater

Osaka Elegy  /  Sisters of Gion

Saturday, January 17, 2015 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater

Street of Shame  /  Ugetsu

Friday, January 16, 2015 - 7:30 pm Billy Wilder Theater