Tuesday, January 24, 2012

120. Zangiku Monogatari

Zangiku Monogatari
The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums
Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi

It seems to be a universally acknowledged truth that the subtitles for this movie are awful.  I actually didn't think mine were too bad, but I don't speak Japanese so I am not exactly an expert.

Anyway, this film was a total snore.  It is two and half hours long which is pushing it even for a good movie.  The plot centers on a whiny couple who both go above and beyond to make their lives difficult.  The woman is a wet nurse who gets fired because of her love for her employer's son.  He is trying to make it as an actor and she attempts to help him.  Goodness, I am getting bored just explaining it!

This is a rare film that you won't hear too much about but the directing is supposedly sublime.  I was only mildly impressed and was pleased when the film was over.  So there!

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

No trivia on Wikipedia or IMDb.  It is just a really boring film, take my word for it.  Have I ever steered you wrong?

Can we all agree that "chrysanthemum'' is one of the worst words ever?

Random scene I saw was available on YouTube:


  1. My version actually had pretty good subtitles, too! I didn't think this film was super boring, just a little too long!

  2. Japanese culture can seem very alien. This one was strange and, yes, boring. If it is any consolation, of the four movies in the Mizogushi box set I bought this was the best one. Zzzzzzzzz.

  3. Well, I'm going to throw a curveball and say that I thought this was brilliant. The atmosphere of Japanese culture, the use of sound, the camera shots, all perfect. For such a long film based around what is, at heart, a pretty bare storyline, I hardly ever checked the clock (And I'm the type of person who normally looks again and again at the time every three minutes).

    I had to download a separate set of subtitles for this which were 99% fine. Possibly this made the difference? Poor subtitles may enable you to logically understand what's going on but they're always going to leave you feeling detached from the piece. A bit like the band always seems to play better when you're at the front than standing by the bar at the back.