Now With More Than 3600 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 3600 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Beyond exquisite. Kon Ichikawa’s domestic drama follows the four lovely Makioka sisters in quietly compelling fashion. A rare look at a rich Japanese subculture, it’s also the most refined ‘chick-flic’ ever made. Daughters of the wealthy Makioka mercantile family, the eldest two are both married with children, but they spend most of their time worrying about the two youngest sisters: the tradition-bound third girl, a great beauty who refuses one arranged marriage after another; and the kid, a rebellious girl who wants to shed family obligations. The film runs on small details of family pride & vanity, set in stately homes and well-tended parks, always gowned in ravishing kimonos that are much more than mere show. It’s a world where style becomes subject, as if Max Ophuls had turned his attention to Japan in the 1930s. And the men are just as well defined: varying ‘modern’ generation boyfriends for the youngest sister; deeply inappropriate formal suitors for sister number 3's arranged meetings. Jûzô Itami, before he began directing (TAMPOPO/’86), is suitably gruff as the eldest’s hot-tempered husband; and there’s an exceptional perf from Kôji Ishizaka as the other husband, the family’s ever-ready peacemaker who’s a bit in love with all the sisters. Ichikawa remains best known Stateside for harrowing anti-war pics like THE BURMESE HARP/’56 and FIRES ON THE PLAIN/’59, but he had an enormous range, and here he finds & maintains the exact right tone for this delicate melodrama.

DOUBLE-BILL: Sounds unlikely, but Vincente Minnelli’s MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS/’44 is an equally well-observed memory piece about four sisters & their extended family with more than a few similar plot threads, even a crisis-inducing proposed move to a big city. But of course played out in TechniColored studio recreations, with song cues & Judy Garland in for Ichikawa’s cherry-blossoms.

No comments: