“The Fort of Death” Nov 1st

29 Sep

Please join us Monday, November 1 at 7pm in Meacham Auditorium for the third in a series of five films presented by the Japan Foundation: The Fort of Death.  These films, screened in 35 mm, are all classics of 1960s cinema.  The series is co-sponsored by SIAS, the Film and Video Studies Program, The OU Union Programing Board and the Oklahoma City Musuem of Art.

All films in the series are screened in Japanese with English subtitles.  All are free and open to the public.

Yearning (Midareru) 乱れる
B&W / 1964 / 100min
Director: Naruse Mikio

Widowed during the war after only six months of marriage, Reiko almost single-handedly rebuilds her husband’s family’s liquor store after it was bombed.  Eighteen years later, however, it and the other small shops are losing business to a new supermarket down the street.  To make matters worse, Reiko must both fend off of her sisters-in-law who want to get rid of her by marrying her off and also handle her rambunctious younger brother-in-law, Koji.

A college graduate, Koji soon quits his job and now spends his time gambling, drinking, and getting into fights. Still, he has deep respect for Reiko, so when he suggests to the family they use their land to build their own supermarket, he insists Reiko be made one of the directors. His sister Hisako’s husband objects, however, so the plan goes nowhere.

When Reiko finds out about an affair Koji has been having with a less than exemplary woman, she confronts him about it. To her shock, Koji responds by saying that the only woman he really loves is Reiko. Worried about what others would think, Reiko rejects Koji, who is 12 years her junior. As if to prove himself to her, Koji begins working diligently at the shop. Reiko, however, finds the situation stifling, so she suddenly declares to the family that she is leaving for home, lying that she has a lover there. Disbelieving her story, Koji accompanies her on the trip home against her will. Touched by his sincerity, Reiko admits she is happy he loves her, but when Koji tries to kiss her in their room at an inn, she violently pushes him away. Koji storms out and gets roaring drunk. Reiko rises in the morning and is set to leave when she hears a commotion in the street: someone had fallen off a cliff during the night. Rushing outside, Reiko is stunned by the sight of Koji’s body being carried away on a stretcher.

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