This achingly gorgeous emotional epic from the incomparable Kenji Mizoguchi is one of the triumphs of Japanese cinema. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum follows the journey of a young actor who breaks away from his wealthy kabuki troupe family to marry his parents’ former servant; cruelly estranged, he and his wife descend into poverty and disillusionment on society’s margins. Featuring the kind of delicate yet dexterous camera movements for which Mizoguchi would forever be known, this patiently observed nineteenth-century drama is a poignant tale of tragedy and redemption and a moving depiction of the potency of love in the face of rigid social strictures.
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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