Beginning in the 1980s, director Juzo Itami and his wife, actor Nobuko Miyamoto, became a powerhouse duo on the international film scene, finding success with a string of movies about hardworking independent women. In the latest installment of our Creative Marriages series, now playing on the Criterion Channel on FilmStruck, we’re taking a closer look at their artistic collaboration and the relationship they shared off-screen. As part of the program, we’re highlighting two of their greatest hits: the 1985 “ramen western” Tampopo, in which Miyamoto plays a widow determined to become a topnotch noodle chef, and the award-winning 1987 seriocomic thriller A Taxing Woman, in which she stars as a tax auditor investigating a shady millionaire. In the below video, programmer Michael Sragow explains how Itami and Miyamoto brought a fresh comedic perspective to female-driven narratives, one that departed from the tragic depictions of women that dominated Japanese cinema of the past.
Consuming the Cat: Brenda Lien Calls Out an Internet Fetish
In a short film now featured on the Criterion Channel, the German filmmaker interrogates our insatiable appetite for feline memes and what it says about our consumerist culture.
The Art of Lighting a Comedic Thriller
In the latest episode of Observations on Film Art, Professor Kristin Thompson explores how Ernst Lubitsch’s satirical masterpiece To Be or Not to Be employs a venerable cinematographic technique: three-point lighting.