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Ornamental Hairpin

Saturday, May 11, 2024 at 6:15 pm

Location: Redstone Theater


Dir. Hiroshi Shimizu. 1941, 70 mins. 35mm print courtesy of the National Film Archive of Japan. In Japanese with English subtitles. With Kinuyo Tanaka, Chishū Ryū, Tatsuo Saitō, Shin’ichi Himori, Hideko Mimura, Kanji Kawahara, Hiroko KawasakiShimizu’s plaintive romance turns on the encounter, again at a secluded mountain spa (as in The Masseurs and a Woman), between a convalescing soldier (Ozu stalwart Ryū) and a young woman (the great Tanaka, to whom Shimizu had been briefly married) fleeing her sordid past. Shimizu surrounds them with a colorful supporting cast, including pedantic Professor Katada (Saitō), who lords over a meek young married couple (Himori and Mimura), an old man (Kawahara) with his two mischievous grandsons, and Emi’s traveling companion, Okiku (Kawasaki). Upon its release in 1941, one critic complained of this seeming trifle: “Film stock is so precious in these times, yet Shimizu Hiroshi still comes up with such la-di-da stuff.But the subversive strength of this beautifully unhurried film lies precisely in its focus on the mundane, in its meandering, hesitant rhythms, melancholy cadences, and low comic digressions during a time of war. 

Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / discounted for MoMI members ($7–$11). There is a $1.50 transaction fee per ticket for all online purchases. The cost of admission may be applied toward a same-day purchase of a membership. 

Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission.