Bars in the daytime are like women without makeup

This was so surprising in so many ways. For one, I wasn’t expecting such a light touch from Naruse somehow. I went into it expecting something more akin to The Life of Oharu (which is a film I really like) but Naruse’s handling of the material is quite different. Much of the film focuses on the quotidian details of Keiko’s life in the ginza bar and outside and it is through these every day moments that the film builds up to the emotional punch of the last half hour.

I also love the way Naruse uses the widescreen compositions to emphasize the claustrophobic congested interiors of the bar as well as to hint at the modernity and freedom that the rare outdoor shots (train stations and bridges) seem to signal. I also wasn’t really expecting that light jazzy soundtrack that works so well in the film. Such a lovely portrayal of life’s quiet relentless disappointments.

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