December’s Film Club features are two of Hiroshi Shimizu‘s (1903-1966) films from the turn of the 1940s. Shimizu is not as well known today as some of his contemporaries, but in his own time he was considered one of the most respected film makers in Japan. We already had two of his films on the list in October. Let’s see if the December films generate more discussion!
The Masseurs and a Woman (Anna to onna) was released in 1938, and depicts a story of attraction, loneliness and human connection as “seen” through the characters of blind masseurs working at a mountain retreat. The film is 66 minutes long, and in my personal opinion is the strongest one of the four Shimizu films on our film club list.
The second film, Ornamental Hairpin (Kanzashi), is a wartime romance from 1941, also taking place at a mountain retreat. The film is 70 minutes long.
Both films can be found from the Eclipse box set titled Travels with Hiroshi Shimizu.
In January, we will be returning to Kurosawa with No Regrets for Our Youth, his first post-war film. For a complete schedule of the film club, see here.