Monday, October 26, 2015
FLOATING CLOUDS (1955)
1946. Looking to escape her brother-in-law who "violated" her, 22-year-old Yukiko (Hideko Takamine) takes a job as a typist in Indochina. While there she falls in love with co-worker Tomioka (Masayuki Mori) who's not only married, but also a womanizing playboy as well. Eventually he goes back to his wife in Japan and Yukiko follows. She's brokenhearted and endlessly pines away for this guy. As the years pass they both have relationships with other people but still end up together over and over and over again. It's kind of fascinating in a way because while they're obviously not good for each other (and they know it) they've somehow grown this unbreakable bond that prevents them from ever being apart for too long.
This is only my second Mikio Naruse film and I thought it was fantastic. Not only was it an engaging story but it features three of the top actors from WHEN A WOMAN ASCENDS THE STAIRS! Hideko Takamine, Masayuki Mori and Daisuke Kato...how cool is that?! Now I can't wait to see what other Naruse films I can locate. Anyway, back to FLOATING CLOUDS...I really enjoyed Naruse's naturalistic style and how he kept showing the two main characters walking side-by-side. It almost seemed like a way to show the passage of time. Anyway, while the direction was masterful I was once again captivated by Hideko Takamine's performance. She conveys so much with just her face and body language. It's beautiful to watch. Masayuki Mori ain't too shabby either.
Highly recommended, but very depressing.