Thursday, September 15, 2011

Endless Pavement

The Greatest Naruse Silent

Kagirinaki hodô [Endless Pavement] by Mikio Naruse, 1934:

This film, Kagirinaki hodô, is known now, because of the Eclipse set, has been known, as Street Without End; a better translation might be Endless Pavement...

Refrain of the streetlights, of the bulbs of building interiors, in the opening act... A constant, constant music...

Sugiko is hit by a car (third accident of this sort in the first five extant Naruse films) — sickbed — any injury in the Japanese cinema of this period tends to plunge the victim into a coma...

Comedy and melodrama, two pairs of suitors, two pairs of rich men offering Sugiko a leg-up, two mothers who object to their sons' desire to marry the girl, two girls (co-workers and friends), Sugiko and Kesako, are offered jobs from the same studio as movie actresses...

They go to the movies to watch Lubitsch's The Smiling Lieutenant...

The surface is barely scratched here. A great film, one of Naruse's greatest. Too much to say. But less talk for now. Autumn approaches at last...


Previous pieces on Naruse at Cinemasparagus:

Flunky, Work Hard [1931]

No Blood Relation [1932]

Apart from You [1933]

Every-Night Dreams [1933]


1 comment:

  1. His best surviving silent, and a great, great film indeed. I've seen it twice and feel I could watch it time and time again. Viva Naruse!


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