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Confessions Among Actresses
(Kokuhakuteki joyûron)

Directed by Yoshishige Yoshida.
With Mariko Okada, Ruriko Asaoka, Ineko Arima.
Japan, 1971, digital video, color, 124 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.

In the wake of his “anti-melodramas” of the 1960s, Kiju Yoshida here applies his radical vision to a Bergmanesque art film, casting three important Japanese actresses in this exploration of the links among performance, trauma and cinema. Yoshida designs a dizzying vertigo out of the shifting realities created by using actresses famous for playing modern, liberated characters to play three women who have been damaged by the men around them, and who are, in turn, gathered to make a film that will test them. As flashbacks alternate with moments of confession and confrontation, Yoshida contrasts classical framing and editing with his typical angular, New-Wave style, complete with jump cuts, zooms and eccentric framing that often confines the action to a small part of the frame surrounded by negative space.

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