Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Ballad of Narayama

In a famine ravaged village, the elderly upon their 70th birthday are sent to trek up a mountain where they are to wither and die, a woman (Kinuyo Tanaka) nearing the age graciously prepares for her godforsaken journey while the rest of her family, save a grieving son, behave selfishly. Shohei Imamura's The Ballad of Narayama is a disconsolate take on self-centeredness, selflessness, and the throwaway culture regarding the elderly with the sung narration and beautiful alternately radiant, verdant, and grim artificial looking sets creating a distinctive atmosphere. Tanaka is magnificent.
*** 1/2 out of ****