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LawrenceA

R.I.P. Machiko Kyo (1924-2019)

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I know that there has been a glut of well-known celebrities passing away in the last few days, but I also want to mention the death of Japanese actress Machiko Kyo at the age of 95. She made her film debut in 1949, and she starred in many major Japanese films throughout the 1950's that garnered international acclaim, including Rashomon (1950) for director Akira Kurosawa, Ugetsu (1953) for Kenji Mizoguchi, Gate of Hell (1954) for Teinosuke Kinugasa, Odd Obsession (1959) for Kon Ichikawa, and Floating Weeds (1959) for Yasujiro Ozu. Her sole non-Japanese film was 1956's Teahouse of the August Moon

 

Rashomon (1950)

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Ugetsu (1953)

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Floating Weeds (1959)

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How many of the great Japanese actresses are left? Kinuyo Tanaka ("Sansho the Bailiff") Hideko Takamine ("Twenty-Four Eyes") and Setsuko Hara ("Tokyo Story") are deceased.

Also departed: Isuzu Yamada, who played the Lady Macbeth character in Akira Kurosawa's "Throne of Blood."

Misa Uehara, who played one of my favorite Kurosawa heroines in "The Hidden Fortress," is also gone. But she didn't have a long career.

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She did an amazing job in Rashomon. I love that shot of her just sitting in the forest with her white veil. It's very beautiful.

 

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What a great actress.  Fans might wish to check out Kenji Mizoguchi's Princes Yang Kwei Fei (1955) in which Kyo plays a very tragic figure.  Rashomon (1950) is my favourite Machiko Kyo performance of those that I have seen.  Thanks for bringing this to our attention, LawrenceA.

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