The Precipice

Rare, not-on-DVD films from Yasuzo Masumura

The Precipice
(Hyoheki). In this mountain-climbing adventure set in the snowy Japanese Alps, poetry and death imagery take over, if not subvert, the action. A married woman (popular star Fujiko Yamamoto) is loved by two young men, climbing partners in their better moments. When one of the men falls to his death, the other (Kenji Sugawara) is blamed. (As so often with Masumura, the matter becomes one of industrial intrigue.) Yamamoto portrays Minako as a woman lost between tradition and desire; in the end she doubles as a mother figure both to her industrialist husband (Ken Uehara) and her lover. But where another director might have focused on character, Masumura opts for cinema, and not just in the challenging mountain-climbing scenes. Minako serving tea and cream puffs to the all-knowing husband is a matter of complicated gazes; a Sirkian mirror shot in a garish red and green bedroom echoes the grim cheer of Christmas that haunts this film

The Precipice

Free show!

Sponsored by The Japan Foundation

Wed November 16, 2011, 7:00 only, Muenzinger Auditorium

Japan, 97 min, 35mm, 1958, 2.35:1, Color, Not Rated



10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.


Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.


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