The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum

The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum

Kenji Mizoguchi

 
The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (Criterion Blu-Ray)

Blu-Ray

1 Disc

SRP: $39.95

Criterion Store price:$31.96

  • Japan
  • 1939
  • 143 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.37:1
  • Japanese
  •  
  • Spine #832

This heartrending masterpiece by Kenji Mizoguchi about the give-and-take between life and art marked the first full realization of the hypnotic long takes and eloquent camera movements that would come to define the director’s films. Kikunosuke (Shotaro Hanayagi), the adopted son of a legendary kabuki actor who is striving to achieve stardom by mastering female roles, turns to his infant brother’s wet nurse for support and affection—and she soon gives up everything for her beloved’s creative glory. Offering a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of kabuki theater in the late nineteenth century, The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum provides a critique of the oppression of women and the sacrifices required of them, and represents the pinnacle of Mizoguchi’s early career.

Cast

Kikunosuke Onoe VIShotaro Hanayagi
Fukusuke NakamuraKokichi Takada
Kikugoro Onoe VGonjuro Kawarazaki
OtokuKakuko Mori
OsataYoko Umemura

Credits

DirectorKenji Mizoguchi
ProducerShintaro Shirai
ScreenplayMatsutaro Kawaguchi and Yoshikata Yoda
Based on the story byShofu Muramatsu
CinematographyYozo Fuji and Shigeto Miki
EditorKoshi Kawahigashi
Production design byHiroshi Mizutani

Disc Features

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with critic Phillip Lopate about the evolution of director Kenji Mizoguchi’s style
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Dudley Andrew

    New cover by Michael Boland

Film Essays

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The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum: A Cineaste’s Performance

By Dudley Andrew September 13, 2016

Kenji Mizoguchi achieved the sublime with this structurally complex portrait of artistic ambition and female subjugation. Read more »

Video

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Women Through Mizoguchi’s Lens

September 16, 2016

The role of women in Japanese society remained an abiding theme throughout Kenji Mizoguchi’s career. Forever under the thumb of a cruel and patriarchal world, his working-class heroines endure . . . Read more »


Clippings

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Lessons From Mizoguchi

September 15, 2016

This week, we were proud to release Kenji Mizoguchi’s 1939 film The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum, a devastating meditation on the costs of artistic ambition that showcases the director’s . . . Read more »


Film Essays

Current_27729id_004_thumbnail

The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum: A Cineaste’s Performance

By Dudley Andrew September 13, 2016

Kenji Mizoguchi achieved the sublime with this structurally complex portrait of artistic ambition and female subjugation. Read more »

Other Editions

The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (Criterion DVD)

DVD

1 Disc

SRP: $29.95

Criterion Store price:$23.96

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