Yogoto No Yume (1933)

Countries - Japan  |  
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This silent feature by the esteemed Japanese director Mikio Naruse takes the form of a domestic melodrama. Sumiko Kurishima stars as Omitsu, a barmaid and single parent long-estranged from her irresponsible, out-of-work husband (Tatsuo Saito). When he suddenly returns without advance warning, she does anything and everything in her power to pull the pieces of her shattered family back together. Naruse employs heavy stylization to tell his story, including the repeated use of montage, a fractured chronology, and metonymical close-ups of characters' moving legs. When combined, these elements imbue the motion picture with much tension and a lingering sense of unease.