A Wife Confesses
1961, 91 min., 35 mm, B&W, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Yasuzo Masumura. With Ayako Wakao, Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Eitaro Ozawa. Print courtesy of The Japan Foundation with permission from Kadokawa Pictures, Inc.
Possibly the most intriguing film directed by Masumura, A Wife Confesses is both a film noir study of the hypocrisies of marriage and a lush psychological thriller featuring a wondrously ambiguous female protagonist played by Ayako Wakao, simultaneously a sympathetic victim and one of the most sophisticated femme fatales ever portrayed in cinema.
Young widow Ayako Takigawa (Ayako Wakao) goes on trial for the murder of her husband in a mountaineering accident. She stands to gain five million yen from his life insurance—that is, if she is cleared of the charge. Her version of the facts: the fall that claimed the life of her abusive husband nearly dragged her and his student Koda along to their deaths; Ayako had no choice but to cut the rope. Did the widow kill her brutal spouse in cold blood so that she and young Koda could enjoy the money from the policy that the student had urged Professor Takigawa to buy?
Part of the Globus Film Series:
Mad, Bad…. & Dangerous to Know: Three Untamed Beauties
$11/$7 members, students & seniors
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- Friday, April 2, 2010
- 8:30 pm