I just thought I'd send you this link (although you may already be aware of it) to Pacific Cinematheque's series of films by Naruse Mikio in February. I am pretty excited about it ... I took a class in Chinese literature last semester, and one of the novels we read was very much about aesthetics and particularly aestheticism in Japan. The novel referred to Naruse and his films on numerous occasions, so I am excited because (I hope) they are going to be very "beautiful" and will hopefully add a dimension to what I am going to learn about Japan in this class.Naruse is enjoying recent popularity in the West due to a fashion to interpret his film as being harmonious with contemporary doctines of Western feminism. His film is redolent of Kitchen-Sink drama: a consequence surely of the vogue among the Japanese literary and motion picture cliques in the 1950s for things British (that being a post-War reaction back to Meiji culture.) Thus, the mood of Naruse's work is Western realism -- not Japanese aware as (frequently Western) critics unlearnedly, & thus mistakenly, assert.
Tsuma yo bara no yo ni ("Wife, were that you became like a rose") is the film from the selection being shown most pertinent to our course -- and one that I recommend for its own sake. I am going: Sunday, February 12 – 7:30 pm.