Setsuko Hara

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ambrose
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Re: Setsuko Hara

#101 Post by ambrose » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:34 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:
ambrose wrote:Uruwashiki shuppatsu (1939). Could someone both confirm the source of this image and provide plot details?
Not I -- but I would _love_ to see this film.
Shame. I suppose the possibility therefore that you might have seen this film, Man of the Three Fingers, is fairly negligible (Miss Hara really did appear in a lot of genre rubbish).

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Re: Setsuko Hara

#102 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:42 pm

ambrose wrote:(Miss Hara really did appear in a lot of genre rubbish).
Absolutely. Most of her roles were in fairly insignificant films.

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Re: Setsuko Hara

#103 Post by ambrose » Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:39 pm


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Re: Setsuko Hara

#104 Post by ambrose » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:05 pm


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Re: Setsuko Hara

#105 Post by ambrose » Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:50 pm


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Re: Setsuko Hara

#106 Post by ambrose » Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:44 pm


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Re: Setsuko Hara

#107 Post by ambrose » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:02 pm



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Re: Setsuko Hara

#109 Post by ambrose » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:21 am


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Re: Setsuko Hara

#110 Post by ambrose » Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:46 pm

Last edited by ambrose on Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Setsuko Hara

#111 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:55 pm

Seriously dude, get a Tumblr or something

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Re: Setsuko Hara

#112 Post by ambrose » Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:37 pm

In an essay reprinted in the newly published Catherine Russell anthology "Classical Japanese Cinema Revisited", Miss/Mrs. Russell expresses frustration at Ozu's seeming inability to unequivocally embrace the post war democratic reforms.
Catherine Russell wrote:Despite its elegance and beauty ,Late Spring is extremely frustrating in its obliqueness. The year before the film was released, women's rights were finally enshrined in the constitution. The character of Aya signals the presence of women's newly gained rights to property and divorce. In this context, Noriko is clearly a woman clinging to the old ways, although she is also a woman who tries without success to have things her own way. Social protocol dictates that she cannot remain a single woman living with her father, and she is literally pushed out of her own home. Not only does Ozu refuse to show the fiance, he also leaves out the wedding itself. Noriko dressed in her bridal costume, like a living doll, is all that is shown of a marriage based on nothing more than a vague reference to an American movie star.
Last edited by ambrose on Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Setsuko Hara

#113 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:45 pm

I rather like Catherine Russell in general -- but this particular essay annoyed the hell out of me (at least insofar as it discussed Ozu) -- assuming this is the one from CineAction.

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Re: Setsuko Hara

#114 Post by ambrose » Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:49 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:I rather like Catherine Russell in general -- but this particular essay annoyed the hell out of me (at least insofar as it discussed Ozu) -- assuming this is the one from CineAction.
Catherine Russell has on quite a few occasions used Ozu as an example of unreconstructed attitudes towards women and society (often in opposition to the seemingly more progressive Naruse). Sidenote: The essay in question was originally printed in Cineaste Mr.Kerpan.

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Re: Setsuko Hara

#115 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:21 am

As you note, Russell has a tendency to criticize Ozu for conservativism -- others have challenged her characterization. I myself think she misses the boat on Ozu. ;~}

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Re: Setsuko Hara

#116 Post by whaleallright » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:55 am

What she seems to miss was that with some notable exceptions, Ozu treated most social issues (and many other things) obliquely. Skipping over events to which other filmmakers would devote long sequences was one of his basic narrative strategies. It seems foolish to ascribe it to conservatism in this instance.

Younger filmmakers like Imamura and Oshima, at the beginnings of their careers, also felt that Ozu was conservative in terms of both technique and social observation, but most have since publicly revised that view.

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Re: Setsuko Hara

#117 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:09 pm

Imamura was not that much of a movie fan is in his youth -- one wonders what he would have thought of Ozu had he seen Ozu's best silent films or his Hen in the Wind.

Russell also misses the strongly ANTI-patriarchal tone of almost all Ozu's late films (from Tokyo Twilight on).

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Re: Setsuko Hara

#118 Post by whaleallright » Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:33 pm

Imamura was Ozu's assistant for a time in the 1950s -- I think the charge of conservatism came in large part from Ozu's working methods. He must have seemed very "set in his ways" to a young man like Imamura. But of course it probably also had to do with Ozu's general reluctance to depict sexuality -- the subject Imamura was to specialize in.
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Re: Setsuko Hara

#119 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:41 pm

> it probably also had to do with Ozu's general reluctance to depict sexuality -- the subject Imamura was to specialize in.

Which is why it would be interesting to imagine an alternate reality in which Imamura actually saw HitW. ;~}

Tokyo Twilight was pretty sharply critical -- and audiences and critics all agreed that Ozu had "failed". Nonetheless, he came back to the same theme (Fathers do NOT know best) in most of his following films, but presented it more gently (and with humor). All the same, despite its humor, Ozu's depiction of patriarchy gone awry in End of Summer is pretty pointed and his sympathy towards the younger female members (who are now free to chart their own courses) is pretty apparent (to me, at least). ;~}

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Re: Setsuko Hara

#120 Post by Leo Wong » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:22 pm

domino harvey wrote:Seriously dude, get a Tumblr or something
He got something:

Taifuken no onna (1948)

languor

Enigmatic Impassivity

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Re: Setsuko Hara

#121 Post by ambrose » Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:37 pm

Vermillion and one nights.
Hisatora Kumagai and Setsuko Hara

Throughout her career, Setsuko Hara was plagued by health problems. There were at least two occasions of sabbatical due to illness after the war. First she was forced to have a leave of absence for a year in 1952. She came back to screen in 1953. In 1954, however, she was diagnosed as cataract. This time, she had a year and a half leave. This film was the her comeback in 1955. During her leave, she stayed with her sister’s family in Kamakura. In fact, Hara spent large part of her life with them up until this day.

This is not surprising, not only because she stayed single throughout her life, but also her carrier in film industry was initiated by her sister, an actress and her sister’s husband, Hisatora Kumagai, a prominent film director in the prewar period, and the producer of this film, “Nobuko Rides on a Clouds”. Nowadays, his name is rarely mentioned, except in connection with Hara.

In many critical stages of Hara’s career, Kumagai was always present in the background. In 1937, Hara visited Nazi Germany for the promotion of the film “Samurai’s Daughter (新しき土, 1937)” by Arnold Fanck (1). She was accompanied by her agents and Kumagai. During this trip, Kumagai saw Nazi Germany and its totalitarian regime in action. Also, he was agitated by blunt racism toward Japanese (or Asians in general) in Europe. The experience in Europe during this time of turmoil seems to have made strong impact on him, leading to the ultra-nationalistic political activism. According to her own accounts, it seems Hara herself was more or less at loss and not prepared for the popularity and attention she was exposed to in Germany.
During thirties, Kumagai was one of the most sought-after directors in Nikkatsu and Toho, directing such films as “Soubou (蒼氓, 1937)” and “Abe Ichizoku (安部一族, 1938)”. But his popularity quickly waned as he concentrated his efforts on propaganda films. One of the most well-known among his works is probably “Shanghai Rikusentai (上海陸戦隊, 1938)”, largely because this PD film is widely available on DVD. Even though the film is below par even for the propaganda film of the time, the fact that Hara plays a Chinese girl made it an object of curiosity. After “Shanghai Rikusentai” and “Shido Monogatari (指導物語, 1941)”, both of which featured Hara in minor roles, Kumagai devoted his effort to activism, becoming a member of right-wing extremist group, “Sumera Juku” (3). Apparently this move made many people in film industry apprehensive of him and perplexed about his motives .

After the war, Kumagai was branded as a war conspirator and practically blacklisted for several years. Finally, in 1953, Kumagai directed the film “Shirauo (白魚, 1953)”, with Setsuko Hara in a leading role. This film was also Hara’s comeback after a year of absence in 1952. Not only that, Hara’s brother (and Kumagai’s brother in law), Yoshio Aida, was the cinematographer for the film. The film was supposed to be springboards for Kumagai/Hara families to recapture their grips in film industry. During the shooting, however, the tragedy struck. Yoshio Aida, attempting to get impressive shots of the locomotive, was hit by incoming train at Gotenba station. He died the next day. Hara was devastated. I have not seen this film, but according to reviews, you can tell the difference between the footage before the accident and those after. In footage after the accident, Hara’s acting was overly engaged, which would make you wonder if something wrong with her.

It was only thirteen days after her brother’s tragedy that the shooting of “Tokyo Story (東京物語, 1953)” started.

Non-chan was the second comeback for Hara and Kumagai. Kumagai made many attempts to comeback as a director, with Hara starring in many of them, but received by lukewarm reactions at best. This was his first attempt as a producer solo and a venture into the territory of childrens' film. Being Hara’s first acting role after the long rest, Kumagai seemed to have paid extra attention to her physical condition. Her shooting schedule was kept minimum (only for five days, 9 to 5) and her long-time co-star, Susumu Fujita, played her husband, probably to ease off her stress. The next film, “Utukusiki Haha (美しき母, 1955)”, was directed by Kumagai, again. She must have felt quite secure, with still weak physique, easily exhausted, under this protection of “family business”. Then she went on to the last series of films in her prominent carrier, including "Tokyo Twilight (東京暮色, 1957)" and "Late Summer (秋日和, 1960)".
Noriko Smiling by Adam Mars-Jones.
"Late Spring, directed and co-written by Yasujiro Ozu, was released in 1949, which makes it an old film, or a film that has been new for a long time…" So begins this remarkable essay in narrative reconstruction. Film-critic, novelist and essayist Mars-Jones gives a virtuoso performance as the lost figure of film explainer, drawing out a host of meaning from the reticence of Ozu’s classic Japanese movie.

“So long after its first release Late Spring is still limber and elusive,” enthuses Mars-Jones. Noriko Smiling breathes new life into both Ozu’s film, and film studies as a whole. There has never been a film book like this.
Last edited by ambrose on Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Setsuko Hara

#122 Post by Leo Wong » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:31 am


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Re: Setsuko Hara

#123 Post by puxzkkx » Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:16 am

Ozu was always an incredibly progressive director, but subtly so. All of his films, even pre-War, are quite critical of the baggage handed down from an imperialist, isolationist generation to its increasingly worldly successors. His colour films, especially, depict 'reconstructed' Japan as something of a sham and generational accord as a failure. If Hara was so right-wing it interests me that she was placed in so many roles that showed her as a victim, in one way or another, of the interests of more conservative characters.

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Re: Setsuko Hara

#124 Post by Leo Wong » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:40 pm

Vermillion and One Nights, All About Setsuko Hara

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Re: Setsuko Hara

#125 Post by FilmSnob » Thu May 17, 2018 11:58 pm

I have compiled a list of Setsuko Hara's filmography using several different sources. Japanese Movie Database has the most complete list but is also missing some of her roles. IMDB misses many but has some that JMDB does not. There are some very dedicated Japanese fan websites that fill in blanks, but I could only translate these at best with Google Translate. Sometimes a guessing game.

Sorry if this is quite lengthy, but I think it's important to have a record of her complete filmography and I can't seem to find one anywhere ... certainly no single source in English.

1935:
Don't Hesitate, Young People!
Midnight Sun
Throw Your Spirit
Green Horizons Part I
Green Horizons Part II

1936:
White Coat Beauty / Beautiful Girl in a White Coat
Priest of Darkness
Unmarried Daughters
The Crown of Life
Tange Sazen (Nikko Volume)

1937:
The Prosecutor and His (Younger) Sister
The Daughter of the Samurai (Germany) / The New Earth (Japan)
(Saga of) Beautiful Women of Tokai
Mother's Song Part I
Mother's Song Part II

1938:
The Giant
Pastoral Symphony
Grandson of the Shogun
Winter Inn

1939:
Beautiful Departure
Chushingura Part I
Chushingura Part II
Shanghai Military Landing Party
Machi (a.k.a. Street or Town)
Women's Classroom Part I
Women's Classroom Part II
Tokyo Romance / A Woman in Tokyo

1940:
Light and Shadow Part I
Light and Shadow Part II
Eastern Trip Diary
Until The Wedding Day
The Serpent Princess
Women's Machi (a.k.a. Women's Street or Women's Town)
World of Two
A Sister's Promise

1941:
A Brother's Bride
Great Emotion(s)
The Nature of Marriage / The Ecology of Marriage (a.k.a. Married Life)
Leadership Story

1942:
The Sky of Hope
(Air/Wind) Currents of Youth
Sand Dunes
Young Teacher
The Green Earth
Mother's Map / A Map for Mother
The War at Sea from Hawaii to Malay

1943:
The Opium War
Suicide Troops of the Watchtower
The Joy of Youth
Towards the Decisive Battle in the Sky
Hot Wind

1944:
The Angry Sea
Young Eagles ?? -- this one is questionable

1945:
Until the Day of Victory
Three Women of the North / Three People of the North
Koi no Fuunji a.k.a. "Fell in Love"?? -- filming had completed; was in post-production when the war ended; shelved until after the Allied Occupation ended in 1953

1946:
Green Native Country / Green Native Hometown
Beautiful Woman
No Regrets For Our Youth

1947:
The Age of Beginnings / Novice Times
A Ball at the Anjo House
A Woman Alone in the Night
Three-Fingered Man

1948:
Temptation
Time of Chastity / Honor Part I
Time of Chastity / Honor Part II
Mount Fuji Summit
The Woman in the Typhoon Area Zone
The Limit of Happiness

1949:
The King's Hotel
Here's to the Young Lady
Blue Mountains Part I
Blue Mountains Sequel Part II
Late Spring

1950:
Ms. Shirayuki and Children
Female Doctor's Office
Wild Alps Story
Seven-Colored Flower / Rainbow-Colored Flower

1951:
The Idiot
Early Summer
Repast / Meshi / Rice

1952:
New Wind
Golden Egg Golden Girl
Tokyo Sweetheart

1953:
Koi no Fuunji (shot in 1945) was finally released with a new title "Energetic Boy"
White Fish
Tokyo Story

1954:
Sound of the Mountain

1955:
Nobuko Rides on a Cloud
A Wonderful Mother / Beautiful Mother

1956:
Passing Showers / Sudden Rain
Settlement of Love
Engagement Trio / Three Men Get Engaged
Women's Prison
Brother and Sister

1957:
Oban
Tokyo Twilight
(Regarding) Chieko
Oban Sequel
The Last Pursuit / The Last Escape
Oban Volume 3 of 4

1958:
Being A Woman / To Be A Woman
Holiday in Tokyo
Oban Conclusion

1959:
A Woman's Heart
The Birth of Japan

1960:
The Wayside Pebble
Daughter, Wife, Mother
The Life of a Country Doctor (I've seen this listed as 1960 or 1961)
Late Autumn

1961:
One's Longing / A Man of Love
The Life of a Country Doctor (again, I've seen this listed as 1960 or 1961)
The End of Summer

(was she also in a TV episode this year?)

1962:
My Daughter and I
Chushingura

1963
Miss Setsuko Hara retired this year.

It's possible this list is also incomplete or contains erroneous credits. If someone would like to help compile her complete filmography as well as ascertain the status of each film (Blu-Ray / 4K / Streaming / DVD only / Print only / Lost film ... Japanese only / English subs, etc.) then I would love your help and expertise.

My plan is to see every film as I am doing with Ozu series, but regardless, it's such a shame that her filmography does not exist in one source and even when you do know many of these films, it's very difficult if not impossible to find more information. At least for someone like me who lives on the other side of the world and only took 1 year of Japanese in college, most of which I have long since forgotten. :)

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