Kinuyo Tanaka
A woman filmmaker of the golden age of Japanese cinema

A Permanent History of Women Filmmakers



As an actress for Ozu, Naruse (who introduced her to an international audience with his film, Mother (released in France in 1954), or Mizoguchi (sixteen films, including Ugestsu), Kinuyo Tanaka was one of the most celebrated and wildly popular actresses in Japanese cinema. In 1953, she made the bold move to directing, in an industry devoid of female filmmakers. Encountering a violent outcry from her mentors (particularly Mizoguchi), she nevertheless fulfilled her ambition with the help of the young studio, ShinToho, her faithful friend Yasujiro Ozu and the gay activist filmmaker Keisuke Kinoshita, who supported her and penned a first screenplay for her, Love Letter, met with critical acclaim in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Between 1953 and 1962, Kinuyo Tanaka shot half a dozen films, with a determined sense of freedom, and a touch of provocation, placing women at the forefront of her movies, whether they played mistresses, prostitutes, poets, heroines or victims of the torments of History. This year, audiences can discover six (extremely rare) pictures, thanks to Carlotta Films, restored by various studios she had worked with: Nikkatsu, Toho, Shochiku and Kadokawa.


As a bonus, Lumière also presents newly restored films by two filmmakers honoured during previous editions of the festival: Ida Lupino and Jacqueline Audry.

In association withLOGO CHANEL


Love Letter (Koibumi, 1953, 1h38)
After the war, a quiet man finds a job as a public writer. He then meets his childhood love... A story of thwarted romance is the topic of this first film as a director by the overwhelmingly famous Japanese actress, Kinuyo Tanaka.
Lumière Terreaux Mon 11 11am | Villa Lumière Tue 12 6:45pm | UGC Confluence Thu 14 11:15am

The Moon Has Risen (Tsuki wa noborinu, 1955, 1h41)
Mokichi Asai lives in Nara with her three daughters: the eldest is a widow, the second is in no hurry to leave her family, and the youngest dreams of moving to the capital... The filmmaker creates a modern vision through these portraits of women, based on a script by Yasujiro Ozu.
Pathé Bellecour Sun 10 11:15am | Lumière Terreaux Tue 12 2:30pm | Cinéma Opéra Sat 16 2:30pm

Forever a woman (Chibusa yo eien nare, 1955, 1h46)
A woman has her family life but has a secret passion to be a poet. After filing for divorce, she discovers she has breast cancer... The film is based on the life of Japanese poet Fumiko Nakajō, a fascinatingly modern film.
Lumière Institute Sat 9 2:45pm | Lumière Terreaux Wed 13 10:45am

The Wandering Princess (Ruten no ohi, 1960, 1h42)
A young girl from a wealthy family is forced to marry the emperor's younger brother. A sincere love is finally born from this union, until war separates them... An adaptation of Hiro Saga's memoirs, a best-seller in 1959.
Villa Lumière Mon 11 11am | Lumière Terreaux Thu 14 11am

Girls of the Night/Girls of Dark (Onna bakari no yoru, 1961, 1h33)
In 1960, following the adoption of the anti-prostitution law, a former prostitute settles in an open correctional centre. She then begins working at a grocery store... Director Kinuyo Tanaka tackles a new feminist theme: the return to ‘normal’ life of a former girl of the streets.
Comœdia Wed 13 2:30pm | Lumière Terreaux Fri 15 5:15pm

Love Under the Crucifix (Ogin-sama, 1962, 1h42)
In Japan, the daughter of the famous tea master, Rikyu, is in love with an already married Catholic man. Her family then forces her into a marriage of reason... With this latest film, in colour, Kinuyo Tanaka tackles the delicate subject of religious conflicts in her country.
Lumière Terreaux Sun 10 2:15pm | Cinéma Opéra Fri 15 2pm | UGC Confluence Sat 16 2pm

Permanent History of Women Filmmakers : a look back at…

Ida Lupino (Lumière 2014)
Hard, Fast and Beautiful! by Ida Lupino (1951, 1h18)
A young tennis player is torn between her mother's ambitious plans and her own aspirations... A rare and little-known movie, one of actress Ida Lupino's seven feature films as director.
UGC Confluence Sun 10 7:30pm | Lumière Institute Tue 12 2pm | Villa Lumière Sat 16 7:45pm

Gentlemen and Miss Lupino by Julia et Clara Kuperberg (2021, 52 min)
Ida Lupino, the sole woman lost in the middle of a male-dominated Hollywood, is not only the film noir actress who traded lines with Bogart, she is above all a great director whom history has forgotten.
Villa Lumière Sat 16 6pm

Ida Lupino, la fiancée rebelle d'Hollywood by Géraldine Boudot (2021, 52 min)
A look back at the eventful life of Ida Lupino, a blonde starlet with a temperamental personality who made her mark in the very masculine world of Hollywood as an actress, screenwriter, producer and director.
Villa Lumière Sun 10 2:30pm

Jacqueline Audry (Lumière 2015)
The Sea Lily by Jacqueline Audry (Le Lis de mer, 1970, 1h22)
Vanina (Carole André), a young orphan raised by her uncle, is allowed to go to Sardinia for a few days with her friend, Juliette (Kiki Caron)... The Sea Lily is something between a bluegrass film and a hippie movie, containing raw scenes and a dreamlike aestheticism: an absolute rarity!
Lumière Terreaux Mon 11 5pm | Cinéma Opéra Tue 12 2:15pm

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