Makioka Sisters

The most pleasurable movie I’ve seen in several months…the rich colors, the darkness, the low-key lighting—they’re intoxicating.


The Makioka Sisters

Part of our Anniversary Classics series. For details, visit:
35th Anniversary Screenings
Wednesday, August 22, at 7 PM
Royal, Town Center, Playhouse

Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present the latest offering in our Anniversary Classics Abroad program, Kon Ichikawa’s poignant family drama,
The Makioka Sisters. One of the great Japanese masters, Ichikawa is perhaps less widely celebrated than his countrymen Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, and Ozu. He began directing features in the 1940s, and his films The Burmese Harp, Fires on the Plain, Tokyo Olympiad, and others found passionate critical defenders.

One of his later films,
The Makioka Sisters, is adapted from a popular Japanese novel by Junichiro Tanizaki and follows the fortunes of four sisters from a wealthy family in Osaka. Set in the 1930s on the eve of World War II, the film stars Keiko Kishi, Yoshiko Sakuma, Sayuri Yoshinaga, and Yuko Kotegawa as the orphaned sisters, heirs in a wealthy manufacturing family. Their marriages and romantic relationships are a source of tension and jealousy.

The sumptuous art direction and costume design help to create the lush atmosphere of the film. Reviewing the film at the time of its American release, the Los Angeles
Times’s Kevin Thomas called it “exquisitely, subtly sensual.” John Powers of the L.A. Weekly agreed that “this is an uncommonly vibrant and beautiful film.” And the New Yorker’s Pauline Kael called it “the most pleasurable movie I’ve seen in several months…the rich colors, the darkness, the low-key lighting—they’re intoxicating.” Playing at three Laemmle locations.

"A Whartonian work of compassionate nostalgia tinctured with irony... overwhelmed sporadically by onrushes of beauty — a rapturous collage of kimono fabric, or the sisters’ annual spring viewing of the cherry blossoms, figures at the center of an already-gone world."- Nick Pinkerton, The Village Voice

"FOUR STARS - You can easily see why Ichikawa’s vision of the 20th-century Japanese-lit landmark is considered definitive; the way he elevates the story’s soap-operatic elements to a level of extraordinary sublimity makes the melodramatic seem positively majestic." - David Fear, Time Out New York

"Good, clean, scandalous fun as well as a masterwork of an under-appreciated Japanese auteur … Full of knowing looks and meaningful gestures,
The Makioka Sisters is a joy to get caught up in." - Joe Bendel, The Epoch Times

"Like in the best Preminger or Sirk movies, emotions, motivations, and the implications of shared histories become more complex, not less, for being the primary subject of the dialogue, as the sisters behave counter to their well-established characters, or change their minds outright." - Mark Asch, The L Magazine

Format: Blu-ray
Drama, Romance, Anniversary Classics
Kon Ichikawa
Keiko Kishi, Yoshiko Sakuma, Sayuri Yoshinaga, Yuko Kotegawa, Juzo Itami, Toshiyuki Hosokawa, Koji Ishizaka
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