In making a film based on the life of a renowned eighteenth-century painter and woodblock portraitist, the great Japanese filmmaker Kenji Mizoguchi created one of his most autobiographical statements on the artistic process as well as another of his trenchant observations about the place of women in Japanese society. Focusing on the artist’s relationship with five of his female models, some of whom were found in brothels, Utamaro and His Five Women is a tender, erotic, and provocative story of the difficulties and rewards of creation. The film’s depiction of the artist getting into trouble with the authorities was intended as a commentary on the governmental control Mizoguchi felt both during and immediately following World War II.
Shot outside of Pittsburgh at a fraction of the cost of a Hollywood feature by a band of filmmakers determined to make their mark, George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead is one of the great stories of independent cinema: a midnight hit turned box-office smash that became one of the most influential films of all time.
George A. Romero
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