Shunkinsho: Okoto to Sasuke
Imported 35mm Print
Kinuyo Tanaka, Kōkichi Takada, Tatsuo Saitō,
A high point of Kinuyo Tanaka’s early career was her portrayal of the blind koto teacher Okoto, who is worshiped by her male servant and disciple, Sasuke. Tanaka gives a haunting, restrained performance, holding vulnerability at bay with delicate sensuality as Okoto gradually realizes Sasuke’s passion. The lovers convey an electric physicality while barely touching. After Okoto suffers an assault that leaves her face disfigured, Sasuke takes measures to ensure that only her former beauty will remain in his heart. Shimazu gives this tale of distressed passions, based on a classic novel by Jun’ichiro Tanizaki, a richly emotional, always tactful treatment.