Yoru no henrin (1964) AKA The Shape of the Night


Noburo Nakamura’s film sees Yoshie Nogami work as a factory worker by day, while moonlighting as a bar hostess at night. Seduced by regular Eiji Kitami, she begins a passionate love affair, until Eiji’s demeanor changes and she is slowly forced into a life of prostitution. Living a life of despair, she eventually meets building engineer Fujii, who urges her to go straight and run away with him. But this swooning, tragic drama has other plans in store for her. A genuine rediscovery, The Shape of the Night is one of Japan’s great female-centered melodramas, to rank alongside those of Ozu, Imamura and Naruse.

Director: Noburo Nakamura. AKA 夜の片鱗 / Shape of the Night
Writers: Toshidi Gondo (screenplay), Kyoko Ohta (novel).
Stars: Miyuki Kuwano, Mikijirô Hira, Keisuke Sonoi, Masuyo Iwamoto, Misako Tominaga, Bunta Sugawara, Isao Kimura.


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One Comment

  1. Michael Søby
    January 18, 2022

    PLEASE give us more films from this director – in particular his two Oscar-nominated masterpieces:

    “Chieko-Sho” and “Koto” plus the sublim “Sekishun”

    No Japanese director is more deserving of being rediscovered than Naboru Nakamura – they should do a box with these three films – including international subtitles. It is a disgrace than they are still not available for international audiences.

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