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Summer Under the Stars- Setsuko Hara (August 19th)

A Little Reflection:

Friends, I’ve been open and honest with you before, and I’m continuing that trend. Setsuko Hara’s work is a blindspot for me which I’m ready to remedy.

Today is a day for yours truly to learn. I love the steps that TCM is taking this summer to pay tribute to cinemas outside of mainstream Hollywood and its exciting to envision just where this development is heading. Cinemas the world over are responsible for an untold number of essentials and in taking the time to celebrate movies beyond the accepted “Hollywood Essentials” TCM is doing their part to ensure world cinema lives on.

If You Can Only Watch One:

As I’ve already mentioned, I need to be open and honest about my blindspot as it relates to Setsuko Hara’s career. Looking over the scheduled movies, Tokyo Story leapt off the schedule from its late night spot (12:15am EST). The drama comes from the visionary director Yasujirô Ozu and follows the story of an elderly couple coping with the societal changes in Japan at the end of World War II.

Yeah… if it doesn’t sound like a light viewing, it’s because it isn’t. However, the drama is a beautifully essential watch coming from the very important period when Japanese cinema was developing at a breakneck pace. As the war ended, men like Ozu and Akira Kurosawa changed the game with movies like Rashomon, Tokyo Story and Seven Samurai… heck, Ishirô Honda directed Godzilla in 1954.

Anyone looking to expand their viewing beyond Hollywood should jump in with both feet as Hara’s work is really at the center of this fascinating era in film. You never know when you’ll find your gateway movie to even more gems.

What movies are you looking forward to watching? Let us know in the comments.

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