Skip to main content

UNDERCURRENT

Japan, 1956 (MIFF 1957, Programme 2)

Director: Kimisaburo Yoshimura

The film unfolds the tradition-minded world of "Kyozome", a dyeing handicraft maintained proudly for ages in Kyoto and well-known throughout Japan.

Undercurrent is a love story. The heroine is Kiwa, the daughter of the aged owner of a cloth-dyeing factory. The industry is moribund and the mainstay of the factory is Kiwa, who not only creates original new patterns, but also strives to promote her designs by exhibiting them in the city. One day at Toshodaiji temple, Kiwa meets a university professor who does research on the Scarlet fly. She finds herself losing her heart; she begins to dye materials in red and is chided by her father for acting like a real woman.

Kiwa wins a competition for Kimono design - her motif the Scarlet fly. She grows reckless, forms a liaison almost openly with the married Takemura. the professor.

The professor's wife dies; paying her respects, Kiwa recalls the passionate words uttered by Takemura shortly before, "Wait, just a little longer ..."

Disillusioned, she renounces her love - and as if symbolical of her feelings, the May Day parade is flying its red banner as she watches on.

The photographer of Undercurrent is Kazuo Miyagawa, who was responsible for Rashomon and the director, Kimisaburo Yoshi-mura. was recipient of Award at Venice for directing The Tale of Genji.

See also...

Bong Gita

A delightful prize-winning Japanese puppet film. A discarded guitar responds to a flower-girl's plight. The village is attracted and her flowers sold - and so the tale continues . . . a theft, a ... More »

LIVING

After Rashoman, Akira Kurosawa adapted Dostoevsky's "The Idiot" for the screen. When this film failed to win critical approval in Japan, he made Living, a modern story which established him as the ... More »

THRONE OF BLOOD

Japan's most esteemed director, Akira Kurosawa. had long considered making a Japanese version of "Macbeth". The result is Throne of Blood, a film in which Kurosawa's thought and skill have perfectly ... More »

FRIENDS FOR LIFE

Amici Per La Pelle is a film of great compassion. Franco Rossi has the advantage of using a story that never strikes for dramatic twists or the eccentric character. It is a story that springs from ... More »

Chicory

Fragmentary documents about the double-life of the poet Comte Ivan Merdreff-Urban Gwerder. ... Federal Award of Switzerland; Jury Prize, Cinestud, Amerstadam; Main Prize, Oberhausen Festival. ... More »

Touch

A co-worker of Joris Ivens gives a personal impression of the port of Rotterdam. ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director