Play It Cool

Play It Cool ★★★½

Masumura once again fixes his eye on the capacity for female agency in Postwar Japan. This returns to the social sphere of Kisses and the characterization of The Blue Sky Maiden, but with greater attention to surmounting/undermining commodification (Masumura’s milieu is Japan’s hostess clubs) and adding the component of class ascension through wiliness and gumption. Not as impressive as those aforementioned titles but another effective showcase for Masumura’s consummate craftsmanship: clean lines, inventive depth staging, and an emphasis on private moments/privileged views. Some truly gorgeous Scope compositions in the back-half.

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