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Seven Seas: Chapter 1—Virginity

Saturday, May 4, 2024 at 1:00 pm

Location: Redstone Theater


With live piano accompaniment by Makia Matsumura 

Dir. Hiroshi Shimizu. 1931, 72 mins. 35mm print courtesy of the National Film Archive of Japan. In Japanese with English subtitles. With Hiroko Kawasaki, Jōji Oka, Ureo Egawa, Sachiko Murase, Atsushi Arai. Scripted by Ozu’s regular screenwriter Kogo Noda from a pseudonymous novel by the era’s ubiquitous pulp writer Kaitaro Hasegawa, this harrowing, intricately plotted urban melodrama depicts the disgrace and subsequent revenge of Yumie (Kawasaki), a virtuous young woman from a traditional middle-class household, who suffers at the hands of Takehiko (Oka), the predatory scion of the wealthy, westernized Yagibashi family. A model of Shochiku’s shomin-geki genre­­tales of proletarian lifeat a moment where, as Japanese scholar Tamaka Masazumi notes, “Hollywood and Marxism” had emerged as the studio’s twin influences, Shimizu’s film skillfully repurposes a fluid American-style mise-en-scène to express a class-conscious populism. This first chapter, titled Virginity, concerns the downfall of the heroine and her family, closing with her fateful decision to marry her abuser. 

Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / free for MoMI members at the Senior/Student level and above. 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. 

See Seven Seas Chapters 1 and 2 together as a combo ticket.