Le Grand Amour

After the legendary Japanese actress Hideko Takamine died in December 2010, Doc Films programmer Edo Choi and local video artist Kyle Canterbury set to work organizing a film series in her memory. The resulting retrospective, which ran at Doc last January through March, doubled as a tribute to director Mikio Naruse, Takamine’s frequent collaborator, whose hard-hitting domestic dramas are often cited as being among the greatest in Japanese cinema. Despite the lofty reputations of both Naruse and Takamine, their work is hard to come by in this country: of the nine titles in the series, eight are unavailable here on DVD.