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Based on a kabuki classic by Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1725), Uchida's [Chikamatsu's 'Love in Osaka'] is adapted with a narrative inventiveness decades ahead of its time.
A young man adopted into a family of wholesalers, Chubei is one evening tempted by a roguish business contact to spend a night sampling the forbidden fruits of the Shinmachi pleasure quarter. There he is introduced to the gentle Umegawa. He is initially shy and attempts to head home, but Umegawa won't let him leave her chamber, as she will lose face with her peers. Behind the back of his adopted family and against his better judgement, Chubei returns the following evening. Before long, he is besotted with the indentured Umegawa, but his efforts to free her from her predicament are pre-empted by a coarse, older client at the bawdy house. Frantic with love, Chubei resorts to dishonourable means, and together they are forced to flee. Boasting a combination of dramatic control and dizzying experimentalism that would make Spike Jonze proud, this is a stunningly powerful and original piece of cinema.
"It is an absolutely beautiful piece of cinema, with its use of colour, long floating camera movements and sumptuous set and costume design." - Midnight Eye---D Uchida Tomu P Ogawa Takaya, Okawa Hiroshi, Tamaki Jun'ichiro S Narasawa Masashige WS Toei Company Ltd L Japanese w/English subtitles TD 35mm/col/1959/106mins