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Hideko Takamine passes away

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    Vili Maunula

    The Guardian has a nice obituary for actress Hideko Takamine (I think that’s how the family name is really transliterated), who passed away on December 28 at the age of 86. She is especially remembered for her performances for Naruse.

    While Takamine didn’t appear in any of Kurosawa’s films, she did act as a child star in a number of films on which Kurosawa worked under Kajiro Yamamoto, including Horse. She also appeared in Those Who Make Tomorrow.

    In our film club, we already saw her as a child, playing the part of the daughter in Ozu’s 1931 film Tokyo Chorus, and as an adult in Naruse’s 1956 Flowing. Next month, we will be watching Keisuke Kinoshita’s 1954 Twenty-four Eyes with Takamine in the lead role in one of her most well known performances.



    Thanks for that Vili, I usually look through the Guardian every morning but I missed that article. Very good of the Guardian to do a thorough article like that. I haven’t seen too many of the films she was in, but she was hugely impressive in the ones I’ve seen. She had a charisma that only a few of her contemporaries shared.



    I just finished watching one of her later films – When a Woman Ascends the Stairs. I bought it a while ago but never got around to watching it. Its a terrific Naruse film, a typically great ensemble performance. She really stands out in it – a very tough, unsentimental performance as a mama-san hostess in a Ginza bar.

    There is an interview with Tetsuyo Nakadai in the dvd extra’s – he admits to having been terrified by her! I get the impression he didn’t like her a lot. But in the booklet with the Criterion copy she wrote a lovely remembrance of Mikio Naruse.




    thanks for the link .. I had missed it too

    I guess it’s still the case that Horse is not available anywhere ?

    I haven’t been able to find a copy . I also re watched When a Woman Ascends the Stairs when I read she had died . It is a great film , one I can see multiple times and still enjoy.




    Vili Maunula

    Hi Longstone. Unfortunately, no Horse anywhere, as far as I can see. I actually just searched for it again this morning.

    Here’s hoping for an “Assistant Kurosawa” box set from Eclipse… One can dream, huh?



    I’m intrigued as to how similar the plots between Horse and Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse are. Morpurgo has a very interesting story as to how he came up with War Horse, and I don’t believe there’s any copying going on – but there’s definitely a crossing of territory, at least with the first acts (protagonist has close relationship with horse that they reared, then horse is sold into the army).

    I have 24 Eyes on order (for next month’s film club) so look forward to seeing Hideko Takamine in that, and also have When a Woman Ascends the Stairs to watch when I have a moment.



    When a Woman Ascends the Stairs was quite compelling. I prefer modern dress to period films in general (not in specific, though). And, this was so rich! Tatsuya Nakadai was so good, too!

    Peace to Hideo Takamine.

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