Death of Machiko Kyo, unforgettable actress at Mizoguchi, Ozu and Kurosawa

Machiko Kyo, a leading actress in 1950s Japanese cinema, died at the age of 95 on Sunday. Born in 1924, this music hall dancer is spotted by the prestigious Daiei studio at 25 years old. It gains international notoriety two years later thanks to Rashomon, pioneering work by Akira Kurosawa (golden lion in Venice in 1951 and Oscar for best foreign film the following year), which marks the beginning of the influence of Japanese cinema abroad.

Collaborating with several of the great masters of archipelago cinema, she began a prolific career, punctuated by works such as Elder brother, younger sister by Mikio Naruse (1953), the Door of Hell of Teinosuke Kinugasa (grand prize at Cannes in 1954), Floating herbs of Yasujiro Ozu (1959) or the Strange obsession by Kon Ichikawa (jury prize at Cannes in 1960). Memorable Princess in Tales of the vague moon after the rain in 1953 (silver lion in Venice), she became a key figure in Kenji Mizoguchi's cinema, for whom she rose from the role of highness in the Empress Yang-Kwei Fei in 1955, to that of prostitute in Street of shame in 1956.

The same year, a brief stint in Hollywood earned him a Golden Globe nomination for the little tea house Daniel Mann, where she plays alongside Marlon Brando. Samurai woman, emancipated sister, servant, geisha: Machiko Kyo lent her face to the great female characters of the golden age of Japanese cinema. Awarded an honorary prize in 2017 at the Japan Academy Prize – the Japanese equivalent of Césars – she will have shot in nearly 100 films.

Sandra Onana

. (tagsToTranslate) Japanese Movie (s) Machiko Kyō (t) Female (s) Yasujirō Ozu (t) Geisha (t) Cannes Film Festival (t) Venice Film Festival (t) Actor (s) Akira Kurosawa (t) Kenji Mizoguchi (t) Samurai (t) Teinosuke Kinugasa (t) L

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