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633 Ratings

The Crucified Lovers

近松物語 | Chikamatsu Monogatari

Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi
Japan, 1954
Drama, Romance, History


Ishun is a wealthy, but unsympathetic, master printer who has wrongly accused his wife and best employee of being lovers. To escape punishment, the accused run away together, but Ishun is certain to be ruined if word gets out.
(Also known as A Story from Chikamatsu.)

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The Crucified Lovers Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi

Critics reviews

It’s long been overshadowed by the director’s best-known works from the same period: The Life of Oharu (1952), Ugetsu (1953), and Sansho the Bailiff (1954). . . . Although less recognized today, A Story from Chikamatsu is an equally significant masterwork that gives important new dimension to the formal and genre innovations for which the trilogy is renowned.
November 13, 2018
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One of Mizoguchi’s most beautifully judged films, the claustrophobic confines of the boss’s house effortlessly contrasted with the unfettered expanse of the natural world. The distinction is subtle: the interiors are subject to constant reframing, with the camera jerked on its axis to find a better view of a conversation behind a doorway while the camera crane follows the fugitive lovers over the hills.
May 25, 2018
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Given the polyvalent strands connecting the couple’s circumstances to a host of subplots, creating a dazzling array of conflicts and turnabouts, this truly is a story from Chikamatsu, within which the ballad of Mohei and Osan exerts a pitiless mechanical force, like a trebuchet, that forever alters the lives of those around them.
May 05, 2018
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