(Fujiwara Yoshie no Furusato)

Screening on Film
Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi.
With Yoshie Fujiwara, Fujiko Hamaguchi, Shizue Natsukawa.
Japan, 1930, 35mm, black & white, 75 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.

Mizoguchi’s first foray into sound was a first as well for the Japanese cinema, comparable to The Jazz Singer as a historic and technological milestone while similarly compensating for its part-talkie limitations by offering a series of over-determined song numbers which emerge as the emotional heart of the film. Hometown justified its technological gambit with a melodramatic story of a singer’s Mephistophean pact with fame, tested by the devotion of a loyal woman standing by his side. Casting popular tenor Yoshie Fujiwara in the main role was a costly gamble by Nikkatsu studio which offered clear evidence of Mizoguchi’s privileged stature within the Japanese film industry.

Part of film series

Read more

The Tales and Tragedies of Kenji Mizoguchi