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Woman of the Lake (1966)

äҹҴٵç : Ҿ¹ͧӡѺ͡ѡɳ੾е Yoshishige Yoshida Kijo Ҷ֧˭ԧ蹪 ѡѧ ǧ˹ѧõԡ


Director:Yoshishige Yoshida (Kijo) Producer:Keinosuke Kubo Written by:Toshirô Ishidô, Yasuko Ôno, Yoshishige Yoshida

Story by:Yasunari Kawabata  Music:Sei Ikeno Cinematography:Tatsuo Suzuki Edited:Sachiko Shimizu  Running time:1h 42min 

Country:Japan Language:Japanese Genre:Drama, Erotic  Subtitle:English  Starring:Mariko Okada ... Miyako Mizuki
Shigeru Tsuyuguchi ... Ginpei Momoi, Tamotsu Hayakawa ... Kitano, Keiko Natsu ... Machie

A married woman lets her lover take naked pictures of her. The photos end up in possession of a man who starts blackmailing the couple. Miyako Mizuki ((Mariko Okada), a wife and mother, becomes romantically involved with Kitano, her interior decorator. At first a simple flirtation, the relationship soon develops into a passionate affair with secret meetings in seedy hotels. Miyako permits Kitano to take nude photographs of her as a keepsake. The negatives, however, fall into the hands of Ginpei Momoi, a teacher who has often observed the lovers in a hotel near his school. Obsessed with Miyako, Ginpei informs her that he has the negatives and arranges to meet her.

Special Features:
- Introduction

- Trailer 


Absolutely gorgeous
Author: mevmijaumau from Croatia
26 September 2014

Yoshishige Yoshida (sometimes transliterated as Kiju Yoshida) is a key Japanese New Wave filmmaker and one of the most underrated movie directors of all time. Woman of the Lake stars his wife Mariko Okada once again, and is based on the novel by Yasunari Kawabata. The story itself isn''t that interesting on paper, however Yoshida creates an incredibly captivating and lyrical film out of it.

The cinematography is flawless. The film begins in one of Yoshida''s customs, with a cold opening before the credits, and ends in one of the most remarkable final shots I''ve seen in a while. Among the film''s themes is the element of stalking and intrusion, which is reflected by many shots which show the characters seen through gaps, windows and battered holes, making the scenes look voyeuristic in nature. The characters are often seen through mirrors, windows and reflective surfaces (one of Yoshida''s running themes seems to be alienation or existentialism). Okada''s figure is sometimes shown in manners which seem to divide her or split her in two. Even in the beginning, when the negatives get stolen, the way the scene is cut makes it look like there are two women there instead of one.

Of course I have to mention the breathtaking images of nature - that second part of the film, where the characters wander around shipwrecks on the coast, or the human-faced cliff... No words. The shot composition and chiaroscuro lighting is out of this world. I''m also quite fond of the quiet scene which is suddenly interrupted by a loud sound of waves crashing - the sound that quiets down as the camera focuses in on the waves. It''s a perfect compound of both visuals and sound.

The music consists of a single theme that plays constantly, and sounds very fitting to the film. It adds to the enchanting atmosphere. The majority of the non-speaking parts are silent though, and combined with long shots they succeed in creating a feeling of discomfort and mystery.

Even if you don''t find yourself caring much about the plot, you have to admit those visuals are astounding. Wow.

Miyako, a housewife, becomes intimately involved with Kitano, her interior decorator. What at first was nothing more than a simple flirtation quickly becomes a love affair in which the two have late night rendezvous at hotels. Miyako lets Kitano fill out his desires by taking nude photographs of her which he holds onto as a keepsake. When the negatives fall into the hands of Ginpei, a teacher who has been observing the couple for sometime, Miyako must track him down out of fear of her husband learning of her love affair. Yoshishige Yoshida''s Woman of the Lake is a complex, visually stunning film that analyses the female psyche as well as her place in society.
Typical of Yoshida''s films, Woman of the Lake is amazingly ahead of its time visually, using exquisite black and white cinematography to create an expressionistic visual poetry that has something to say in every composition. The atmosphere which Yoshida creates around Miyako is astounding, capturing the paranoia and loneliness this woman feels, fearful that she may be caught by her husband. A perfect example comes from a scene early in the film when Miyako is walking back to her husbands house after being with Kitano. Yoshida uses a combination of handheld tracking shots, tight compositions and this bright, intrusive spotlight behind her which perfectly captures Miyako''s inner turmoil and paranoia. I would be lying if I said I understood everything in which Yoshida was trying to say in this film, but to me it''s a story about woman''s rights, with the photographs signifying the battle woman much engage in to simply fight for their own body and mind against the oppressive male-dominated culture. While this is nice and all, I do think the film is more complex than this. Every man in this story is sexually infatuated with Miyako, except her husband. She is an object of sexual desire and yet she finds herself very alone. Much of the film is shot with very wide lenses and desolate landscapes to capture this isolation which Miyako feels. Yoshida seems to point to this separation between carnal desires and companionship by showing Miyako in this light. Woman of the Lake is incredible intricate and full of ideas and although I may not have grasped everything Yoshida was trying to say, this film''s complexity and beauty once again reaffirms why I believe Yoshishige Yoshida is the greatest filmmaker of all time.