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SCREENING

Street of Shame (Akasen Chitai)

Ongoing

Dir. Kenji Mizoguchi. 1956, 87 mins. 35mm print from Janus Films. With Machiko Kyo, Aiko Mimasu, Ayako Wakao. Mizoguchi’s final film is nothing less than a summation of his art. The Japanese National Diet’s debate over illegalizing prostitution is in the air, but it’s business as usual in Tokyo’s red-light district at the Dreamland salon (Hiroshi Miutani’s fantastic closed-world set). Street concerns five working girls living double-lives as daughters, mothers, wives, loan sharks, and dreamers when they are not waylaying potential clients in a terrifying pull-and-tug clamor. Machiko Kyo is a standout as Hollywood-brainwashed “Mickey” in this unusual late-period contemporary drama. Shortly after it premiered, Mizoguchi was dead of leukemia at 58—and prostitution was outlawed in Japan.

Free with Museum admission on a first-come, first-served basis. Museum members may reserve tickets in advance by calling 718 777 6800. For more information on membership and to join online, visit our membership page.

English