Running at BFI Southbank from Monday 16 October – Wednesday 29 November, Tears and Laughter: Women in Japanese Melodrama will be an opportunity for audiences to explore the cinema of Japan’s ‘Golden Age’, with a distinctly female focus. This Sight & Sound Deep Focus season includes several titles rarely screened in the UK, such as The Mistress (Shirō Toyoda, 1953), An Inlet of Muddy Water (Imai Tadashi, 1953) and The Blue Sky Maiden (Yasuzo Masumura, 1957), and
spotlights the magnificent female actors who starred in them. These include figures such as Setsuko Hara, one of Ozu’s key collaborators, Kinuyo Tanaka, the actor who became one of Japan’s first female directors and who was hailed in the West as ‘Japan’s Bette Davis’, and Machiko Kyō, best known as the star of Kurosawa’s Rashomon (1950). All of these stars endure as beloved icons of Japanese cinema, and their performances shine just as brightly as they did over fifty years ago.