Phoenix

1947 [JAPANESE]

Drama / Romance

0
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 66

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
November 16, 2020 at 08:20 PM

Cast

720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
754.12 MB
968*720
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 22 min
P/S 3 / 10
1.37 GB
1440*1072
Japanese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 22 min
P/S 6 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by zetes 7 / 10

Decent melodrama

Somewhat reminiscent of Kinoshita's most famous film, Twenty-Four Eyes, in that its story takes place in two time periods, before the war and after it. A war widow, Kinuyo Tanaka (who starred in Ugetsu, Red Beard and Equinox Flower, among others), reminisces about her short courtship with her soldier husband (Keiji Sada, who also starred in several Ozu films, as well as The Human Condition). This is a touching, if not especially memorable, little melodrama. There's not much conflict in it. Most of the action takes place in the flashback, and we're well aware of Sada's fate. There are a handful of really fine sequences, however. I would have liked a little more sense of the historical setting, but what little is there is certainly interesting. This can be found on HuluPlus in their Criterion section. They have hundreds of films available that have never been available on video. Many, like this one, probably never will be.

Reviewed by topitimo-829-270459 7 / 10

Even sadness should be cheerful!

Kinoshita Keisuke made his first films during the war, and quickly developed a knack to please the wartime censors. Even though "Army" (1944) was a bit controversal, Kinoshita's other early films included much-preferred propaganda about why we are fighting the war, and how we should keep our spirits up. After the war ended, the director was again quick to cope with the situation, turning in "Morning for the Ozone Family" (1946), a highly didactic work that urged the country to venture forward into a new, peaceful sunrise.

Then followed "Phoenix" (1947), another film made to please American censors. This film is a sentimental romance, told in flashbacks, as many of Kinoshita's films are. Tanaka Kinuyo plays a war widow, who lives with her husband's family. Though she has not gotten over her husband's death, she is nevertheless a cheerful person, and a valued part of the harmonious community. In the flashbacks, the film recounts how she met and came to marry the man she did. They didn't have much time together, which ideally would make every scene feel very important, though most of it is very mundane.

This film is a bit preachy, and a tad too obvious. The film presents 1930's Japan as very Americanized. It's true that Japan did emulate the US before the war, but Kinoshita goes a little over the top, and there are possible anachronisms. It is difficult to imagine, how the prewar society of this depiction would have ever started the war in the first place. There were also times when the unashamed optimism of the film was too much, and felt sappy. Surely there were romances like this in every country during WWII, but Kinoshita skips most of the negative moments. In the end, we have a optimistic young couple, until all that is left is a beautiful memory and an optimistic widow.

Tanaka is good, as she always is, though the character is a bit too idealistic. Sada Keiji makes his screen debut here as the husband, and already in his first film the actor is pleasant and proper. There were several good scenes in the film, such as the pivotal moment between Tanaka and her father in law. Yet this "war kills love" narrative is a bit too heavy-handed for me. Of course all Japanese films were made under the same rules of censorship, but some were not quite so sunshiny and obvious in their progressive commentary. From 1947, I would recommend Ozu's "Record of a Tenement Gentleman" or Yoshimura Kozaburo's "The Ball at the Anjo House" over this one.

Reviewed by boblipton 6 / 10

Kinoshita Gets Back in Stride

I'm not a fan of tear-jerkers, but I have become a fan of director Keisuke Kinoshita, so I took a look at this movie starring Kinuyo Tanaka and found it to be well-put together piece of moral female suffering.

Miss Tanaka and Keiji Sada have fallen in love and want to get married. In short order, her father dies, her younger brother comes down with a fatal illness, her surviving elder relatives steal everything and want her to marry a rich man so they can get a big contract. Also, he is about to be shipped off for the war and his father hates her for no reason even explained, just 'unsuitability'. All but ten minutes are done in flashback, so we also knows that he dies in the war, but they have a son.

It's a surprising movie from Japan in this period. There's no overt disapproval of the Japanese side of World War Two, but since it's all about how Miss Tanaka suffers to no real purpose save to entertain the movie audience, perhaps that's disapproval enough. Everyone does a good job in this one, and if you're fond of the talent or tear-jerkers, this should one should please you.

Kinoshita had become a director in 1943, directed four movies through 1944, all fairly obvious pro-war propaganda films, then no credits until 1946, so he must have satisfied the American Occupation people very quickly. It looks like a satisfying weeper that has an air of mockery of the form, while sympathetically observing the characters caught in a stultifying society. As the decades rolled along, the writer-director would become ever more biting in his observations.

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