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When a Woman Ascends the Stairs
     

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

5.0 3
Director: Mikio Naruse, Hideko Takamine, Masayuki Mori, Daisuke Kato

Cast: Mikio Naruse, Hideko Takamine, Masayuki Mori, Daisuke Kato

 
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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Mikio Naruseis unjustifiably but perhaps understandably less well-known than more Westernized colleagues like Kurosawa, due to his restrained, often somber style, which the director of Rashomon (1951) described as being "like a great river with a calm surface, and a raging current in its depths." Keiko (Hideko Takamine), a bar hostess in the Ginza district, a strong and dignified woman, bears the buffeting of her life with just such a calm surface. A widow, now at the age of 30, she casts about for a means of survival, unwilling to make her life easier by turning to prostitution, like her co-workers, out of respect for the memory of her husband. A compassionate account of the wrenching vicissitudes of the life of a woman far superior to her surroundings, it achieves its considerable power through Naruse's stoic, unblinking camera work, juxtaposing the poise of his heroine against the frenetic atmosphere of the bar and its frantically moneygrubbing owners. Takamine, Naruse's favorite actress, gives a performance of great depth, nuance, and delicacy, and Tatsuya Nakadai has a sharp turn as a comic bartender.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/20/2007
UPC:
0715515022521
Original Release:
1960
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W, Wide Screen]
Time:
1:51:00
Sales rank:
12,821

Special Features

New, restored high-definition digital transfer; Optional dolby digital 3.0 soundtrack, preserving the original perspecta simulated stereo effects; Audio commentary by Japanese-film scholar Donald Richie, author of A Hundred Years of Japanese Film; New video interview with actor Tatsuya Nakadai; Theatrical trailer; New and improved English subtitle translation; Plus: A booklet featuring essays by Phillip Lopate, Catherine Russell, Audi Bock, and Hideko Takamine

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- When a Woman Ascends the Stairs: The Criterion Collection
1. Mama [9:19]
2. Lilac Bar [3:01]
3. Yuri's Place [4:18]
4. A New Job [4:27]
5. Night's End [4:53]
6. A Good Husband [8:10]
7. Not Like Mama [1:55]
8. Potential Patron [3:07]
9. Bar For Sale [4:08]
10. Yuri's Plan [3:03]
11. Subscription Book [3:34]
12. "Bound to Fail" [4:22]
13. Fortune-Teller [1:55]
14. Mama's Breakdown [4:06]
15. The Proprietress Visits [3:13]
16. Junko House-Sits [2:59]
17. Family Burdens [8:53]
18. Back to Work [2:36]
19. Marriage Proposal/A Brother's Needs [6:48]
20. Changes [2:42]
21. Mrs. Sekine [3:01]
22. Drunk [5:20]
23. No Regrets [6:38]
24. Komatsu [4:35]
25. A Departure and a Return [4:02]
1. Color Bars [:00]
1. Color Bars [:00]

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When a Woman Ascends the Stairs 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
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