Special Series

Manji: The Goddess of Mercy

Directed by: Yasuzo Masumura
1964 / 90 minutes / Strictly 18+

Based on the novel "Quicksand" by Junichiro Tanizaki

Screened as part of JFF Classics 2018.

Manji starts with Sonoko, a wealthy bored housewife who enrols in art classes to pass time. At school Sonoko meets Mitsuko, a young heiress, and quickly becomes attached to her. Their budding friendship turns into a love affair, unexpectedly taking them down a path of madness.

Director Yasuzo Masumura, whose works often focus on destructive obsession, smoothly navigates a complicated web of love triangles and hidden desires in this on screen adaptation of Junichiro Tanizaki’s novel, Quicksand. He also depicts lesbian romance, unusual at the time, without imposing any judgement. Setsuo Kobayashi’s cinematography plays with shadow and light, lending a mysterious and sensuous atmosphere to the film with fleeting shots of nude bodies that are never fully exposed and always tastefully composed.

FREE JFF Classics Film

Advanced booking is not available for the Art Gallery of NSW screenings. Tickets are handed out at the Domain Theatre, 1 hour prior to the screening.

MELBOURNE - JFF Classics Talk

Join guest researcher Dr Emerald King (La Trobe University) after the screening of Manji: The Goddess of Mercy for a discussion on the relationship between celebrated Japanese author Junichiro Tanizaki, classic film, and Japanese culture. Free event; bookings for film required through ACMI website. Presented in partnership with The Saturday Paper.
Audience warning: Contains moderate themes and nudity.

Saturday 29th September

National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra

Wednesday 17th October

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney

Saturday 20th October

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney

Sunday 2nd December

ACMI, Melbourne

Screens in: Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne

Director: Yasuzo Masumura

Original story: Junichiro Tanizaki

Screenplay: Kaneto Shindo

Producer: Yonejiro Saito

Cinematographer: Setsuo Kobayashi

Cast: Ayako Wakao, Kyoko Kishida, Yusuke Kawazu, Eiji Funakoshi and Kakiwami Sazan

Genre: Special Series

Format: 35mm colour