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Story of the Late Chrysanthemum (Zangiku monogatari) was the only film made in 1939 by the astonishingly prolific Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi). The plot, based on an ancient legend, concerns the son of a renowned Kabuki actor. When the son falls in love with a servant girl, his father violently opposes the union. This, coupled with several impulsive decisions by the younger people, eventually results in tragedy. Like many of Mizoguchi's best works, this dwells upon the adverse results stemming from class consciousness and the depersonalization of women.
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New interview with critic Phillip Lopate about the evolution of director Kenji Mizoguchi's style