MovieChat Forums > Twenty-Four Eyes (1954) Discussion > a film that should be known by all

a film that should be known by all


I saw this film first when it came out on DVD in the UK on the 'Masters of Cinema' Eureka release, and it absolutely bowled me over. Since then I have watched it at least another 5 times, and each time I find it deeply moving.

I had previously been familiar with the cinema of Ozu, Mizoguchi, Kobayashi etc. and found such films as 'Tokyo Story', 'The story of the late chrysanthemums','Ugetsu Monogotari' and 'The Human Condition' a revelation, but nothing prepared me for this film by Kinoshita, which I found surpassed even the above masterpieces.

Subsequently, I have seen the 6 Naruse films released by 'Masters of Cinema' and 'BFI', and I would now place Naruse as probably my favourite director in world cinema - certainly alongside such greats as Mizoguchi, Ozu, Max Ophüls, Douglas Sirk, Ingmar Bergman, Jean Renoir, Woody Allen and Michael Powell, but even Naruse's films do not surpass 'Twenty Four Eyes' in my opinion.

I'm very pleased that in addition to the 'Masters of Cinema' release in the UK, 'Criterion' have now also brought out a version for the Region 1 market - I strongly urge people who are familiar with world cinema to invest their time in this film - you will be deeply rewarded.



-----------------------------------------
"We'll always have Paris"

reply

I agree with you. I love Naruse and Ozu but Kinoshita's Twenty-Four Eyes beats them all. The film is suffused with love and the ending is perfection. I bawled my eyes out.

reply

In all the movies I've seen, I would rate "Twenty-Four Eyes" and Mizoguchi's "Sansho the Bailiff" as having the most deeply moving endings ever. (Thankfully both are available from the Criterion Collection). Modern Hollywood junk just pales in comparison.




"It's going to get worse before it gets better." - The White House

reply

I agree 100%. This is a masterpiece I wasn't prepared for. I'm curious what his other films are like. As much as I love Ozu, this is better than any single Ozu film I can think of. Criminal that it is only recognized outside of Japan as good but not outstanding. The Japanese know better, at least.

reply

Wonderful film

Hideko Takamine is a capable and captivating star

reply

It has been decades since I've seen this film, but it left its mark. I had forgotten its title until I looked through some Japanese films listed in another website. It feels good to rediscover a classic. I also urge people to see this film.

Waffles Anyone
rstory-3
http://www.imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=28764731

reply

I think this might be very well-known among Japanese people of a certain age group. When I lived in Hawaii, the song "At the Seashore" was played on the radio every single morning -- it was really very much a sentimental standard there, so it probably is even better known and meaningful in Japan.

That's just my guess, anyway. Not many movies from 1954 are that well known these days. And it also takes a certain appreciation for the time period, which I'm afraid is being forgotten by new generations.

reply

This is one of the most beautiful movies I've ever seen. Everything about it teems with perfection, grace and charisma. Every scene, from the beginning when Ōishi meets the students to the end when she reunites with them, is marvelously crafted and rich in emotion.

The use of folk songs increases the "small community on an isolated island" feel, while the use of Western music echoes the occupation of Japan. The scene where the camera zooms into the class photo is followed by the children singing folk songs, therefore symbolizing Ōishi's attempts to teach traditional values to the children. The song is then fiercely interrupted by a militaristic chant and the image of the boys from the photo, now enlisted in the army. Despite that sort of grim piece of symbolism, the movie still ends on a happy note, and we get to see Ōishi rejoined with her ex-pupils who have turned out to be righteous people after all. The final scene, with her riding a bike during a rainy day, is one of the most satisfying movie endings I've ever seen.

Hideko Takamine's performance as Ōishi is incredible, it really makes you forget that it's just a movie by the end, and the rest of the cast is great too considering more than half of them is made out of kids. It's unfortunate that Twenty-Four Eyes isn't more well-known.

I'm also interested in the 1987 remake. Those who have seen it say it does the original justice. Of course, it's obscure to the point of having only a few pictures from it on the net and that's it.

reply

This is one of the most popular and critically lauded films in Japan. It beat out Seven a Samurai as the best film in 1954 and is still ranked as a top 10 Japanese film of all time by the Japnanese critics and Aceademy.

reply