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Two Japanese women sitting at a bar
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

Film

Presented by the Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki)

Unclassified 18+

Melbourne Cinematheque

8 Jul

With a style that feels both rigorous and light, Mikio Naruse walks us through a woman’s day-to-day struggles as she weighs up her choices between man and career.

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  • Set in the unforgiving Ginza district, this elegantly understated melodrama showcases Naruse’s particular brand of humanism to great effect. The director's attentive eye reveals the hotbed of sexual politics in the gentleman’s bar in which our protagonist works. These politics shift uneasily to keep up with a rapidly modernising Japan, poking holes in the glamorous façades of Tokyo nightlife.

    Hideko Takamine (Floating Clouds), Masayuki Mori (Floating Clouds, Rashomon) and Tatsuya Nakadai (Yojimbo) star.