Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki (When a Woman Ascends the Stairs) (1963)
Average Rating: 8.3/10
Reviews Counted: 14
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 0
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Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 0
Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 1,045
Filmmaker Mikio Naruse takes a characteristic dour look at life in When A Woman Ascends the Stairs. The central character is a barmaid, who works day and night to avoid being thrown out into the street. She knows that, if she loses her job, the only profession open to her is the World's Oldest. But when the worst happens, the barmaid learns to live with herself while compromising her values. The film's original title was Onna Ga Kaidan O Agaru Toki. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Jun 25, 1963 Limited
Feb 20, 2007
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It's also elegantly shot and scored; all that's missing is a touch of humour.
The new retrospective of Mikio Naruse at London's BFI Southbank will do much to restore the reputation of a neglected Japanese director, and this 1960 film is a heartbreaking study, to be compared with Mizoguchi's Life of Oharu.
Shot in luminous black and white cinemascope, this is an exquisitely understated study of the plight of a young woman in an unforgiving society.
The money-grubbing realities of late 1950s Tokyo make for riveting viewing in Naruse's naturalistic classic. These are no ordinary memories of a geisha.
Lustrously photographed in monochrome by Masai Tamai, this is essentially a Tokyo twist on Nights of Cabiria (1957), with Mikio Naruse and Hideko Takamine replacing Fellina and Masina's kooky optimism with a fatalistic humanism.
Even a casual viewing of When a Woman Ascends the Stairs shows what a gifted humanist Naruse was.
Naruse creates an affecting scenario of modern Japanese society and the pitfalls a woman in such a patriarchal society must face.
Audience Reviews for Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki (When a Woman Ascends the Stairs)
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