Three Sisters With Maiden Hearts

Mikio Naruse’s first talkie (1935)a melodramatic tale about three sisters working as samisen street musicians, based on a story by Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabatais characteristically downbeat and downscale but uncharacteristically experimental in terms of sound and image. Clearly Naruse was still getting accustomed to sound in movies, with interesting but uneven consequences; some of the camera setups detract from the story but are striking nonetheless. In Japanese with subtitles. 74 min. (JR)

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