Film4: Sunday 16 August, 12.50am
Repatriated from French Indo-China in 1946, Hideko Takamine wanders – lonely as a cloud, it’s true – through Tokyo’s rubble-strewn streets, wondering what to make of her life in a world she no longer recognises. Her wartime lover has returned to his wife. He dismisses their foreign affair as ‘a dream’. Relationships are typically tricky and awkward in another observational social-realist romance from Late Chrysanthemums director Mikio Naruse. Beneath the quiet surface, the emotions expressed are hard, harsh and honest. Naruse’s unobtrusive style is subtle yet, if he has a signature, it’s that everyone walks, everywhere. It is said that Naruse didn’t communicate much with cast or crew. Hard to credit, since he elicited such exacting work on both sides of the camera.