Kenji Mizoguchi

Biography

Kenji Mizoguchi (溝口 健二 Mizoguchi Kenji, May 16, 1898 – August 24, 1956) was a Japanese film director and screenwriter.

Mizoguchi’s work is renowned for its long takes and mise-en-scène.According to writer Mark Le Fanu, “His films have an extraordinary force and purity. They shake and move the viewer by the power, refinement and compassion with which they confront human suffering.”

His film Ugetsu (1953) won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival, and appeared in the Sight & Sound Critics’ Top Ten Poll in 1962 and 1972. Other acclaimed films of his include The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (1939), The Life of Oharu (1952), and Sansho the Bailiff (1954).

Coming from a lower class family Mizoguchi entered the production company Nikkatsu as an actor specialized in female roles. Later he became an assistant director and made his first film in 1922. Although he filmed almost 90 movies in the silent era, only his last 12 productions are really known outside of Japan because of international accolades. He only filmed two productions in color. i.e. Princess Yang Kwei-fei (1955) and Taira Clan Saga (1955).

Filmography
1923 813 (The Adventures of Arsène Lupin)
1923 Blood and Soul (Chi to Rei)
1923 Dreams of Youth (Seishun no Yumeji)
1923 Foggy Harbour (Kiri no Minato)
1923 Harbour of Desire (Joen no Chimata)
1923 In the Ruins (Haikyo no Naka)
1923 Song of Failure (Haisan no Uta wa Kanashi)
1923 The Night (Yoru)
1924 Chronicle of the Rainy Season (Samidare Zoshi)
1924 Death at Dawn (Aka Tsuki no Shi)
1924 Queen of Modern Times (Gendai no Jo)
1924 Queen of the Circus (Kyokubadan no Jo)
1924 Song of the Mountain Pass (Toge no Uta)
1924 Strong is the Female (Jose wa Tsuyoshi)
1924 The Sad Idiot (Kanashiki Hakuchi)
1924 This Dusty World (Jin-Kyo)
1924 Turkeys in a Row/The Trace of a Turkey (Shichimencho no Yukue)
1924 Woman of Pleasure (Kanraku no Onna)
1925 A Sketch on the Road/Street Scenes (Gaijo no Sukechi)
1925 General Nogi and Kuma-San (Nogi Taisho to Kuma-San)
1925 No Money, No Fight (Musen Fusen)
1925 Out of College (Gakuso o Idete)
1925 Song of Home (Furusato no Uta)
1925 The Earth Smiles (Daichi wa Hohoemu)
1925 The Human Being (Ningen)
1925 The White Lily Laments (Shirayuki wa Nageku)
1925 Under the Crimson Sunset (Akai Yuki ni Terasarete)
1926 A Paper Doll’s Whisper of Spring (Kami-Ning-Yo Haru No Sasayaki)
1926 It’s My Fault New Version (Shin Onoga Tsumi)
1926 Kin[13]
1926 Passion of a Woman Teacher (Kyoren no Onna Shisho)
1926 The Boy From the Sea (Kaikoku Danji)
1926 The Copper Coin King (Doka-O)
1927 The Cuckoo New Version (Jihi Shincho)
1927 The Imperial Grace (Ko-On)
1928 A Man’s Life (Hito no Issho)
1928 My Loving Daughter (Musume Kawaiya)
1929 Bridge of Japan (Nihonbashi)
1929 Metropolitan Symphony (Tokai Kokyogaku)
1929 The Morning Sun Shines (朝日は輝く Asahi wa kagayaku)
1929 Tokyo March (東京行進曲 Tōkyō kōshin-kyoku)
1930 Hometown (Fujiwara Yoshie no furusato)
1930 Tojin Okichi (唐人お吉 Tōjin Okichi)
1931 And Yet They Go On (Shikamo Karera wa Yuku)
1932 Dawn in Manchuria/The Dawn of the Founding of Manchuko and Mongolia
1932 The Man of the Moment/Timely Mediator (Toki no Ujigami)
1933 Gion Festival (Gion Matsuri)
1933 The Shimpu Group (Shimpu-Ren)
1933 Cascading White Threads/White Threads of the Waterfall/The Water Magician (滝の白糸 Taki no Shiraito)
1934 Aizō Tōge (愛憎峠 “The Mountain Pass of Love and Hate”), a lost film.[14]
1935 Oyuki the Virgin (Maria no Oyuki)
1935 The Downfall of Osen (折鶴お千 Orizuru Osen)
1935 The Poppy (Gubijin-so)
1936 Naniwa Elegy a.k.a. Osaka Elegy (浪華悲歌 Naniwa hika or Naniwa erejī)
1936 Sisters of the Gion (祇園の姉妹 Gion no kyōdai)
1937 Straits of Love and Hate (愛怨峡 Aien kyō)
1938 Song of the Camp (Roei no Uta)
1939 The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (残菊物語 Zangiku monogatari)
1940 A Woman of Osaka (Naniwa Onna)
1941 The 47 Ronin a.k.a. The Loyal 47 Ronin of the Genroku Era (元禄忠臣蔵 Genroku chūshingura)
1941 The Life of an Actor (Geido Ichidai Otoko)
1944 Miyamoto Musashi (宮本武蔵)
1944 Three Generations of Danjuro (Danjuro Sandai)
1945 The Famous Sword Bijomaru (名刀美女丸 Meitō Bijomaru)
1945 Victory Song (Hisshoka) Dir: Masahiro Makino and Hiroshi Shimizu (Mizoguchi directed opening sequence only)
1946 Utamaro and His Five Women a.k.a. Five Women Around Utamaro (歌麿をめぐる五人の女 Utamaro o meguru gonin no onna)
1946 Victory of Women (Josei no Shori)
1947 The Love of the Actress Sumako (女優須磨子の恋 Joyū Sumako no koi)
1948 Women of the Night (夜の女たち Yoru no onnatachi)
1949 Flame of My Love (わが恋は燃えぬ Waga Koi wa Moenu)
1950 Portrait of Madame Yuki a.k.a. A Picture of Madame Yuki (雪夫人絵図 Yuki fujin ezu)
1951 Miss Oyu (お遊さま Oyū-sama)
1951 The Lady of Musashino a.k.a. Lady Musashino (武蔵野夫人 Musashino fujin)
1952 The Life of Oharu (西鶴一代女 Saikaku ichidai onna)
1953 A Geisha a.k.a. Gion Music Festival (祇園囃子 Gion bayashi)
1953 Ugetsu (雨月物語 Ugetsu monogatari)
1954 Sansho the Bailiff (山椒大夫 Sanshō dayū)
1954 The Crucified Lovers a.k.a. A Story from Chikamatsu (近松物語 Chikamatsu monogatari)
1954 The Woman in the Rumor a.k.a. The Crucified Woman (噂の女 Uwasa no onna)
1955 Tales of the Taira Clan (Shin Heike Monogatari)
1955 Princess Yang Kwei-Fei (Yokihi)
1956 Street of Shame (Akasen Chitai)

x