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Kenneth Turan's film pick of the week: 'The Makioka Sisters'

June 8, 2011 |  4:00 pm

Makioka Sisters

A stately film of stunning beauty, Kon Ichikawa's 1983 "The Makioka Sisters" evokes both a way of life and a style of filmmaking that are no more.

Based on the classic novel by Junichiro Tanizaki, "Makioka" tells the complex story of the personal lives and relationship problems of four sisters who live in Osaka on the eve of World War II, sisters who have control of a family kimono-manufacturing business and whose graceful lifestyle will soon be a thing of the past.

Similarly, the film's exceptional color photography, both of nature and of the gorgeous fabrics of the sisters' kimonos, shows the quiet mastery of the great Ichikawa, whose directing career began almost 40 years earlier.

An almost unheard-of opportunity to see this forgotten classic on a big screen is available: "The Makioka Sisters" opens Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Laemmle Monica in Santa Monica and the Playhouse in Pasadena. On Saturday and Sunday mornings at 11, it will play both those theaters as well as the Claremont in Claremont and the Town Center in Encino. On June 15, it will play at the Sunset in West Hollywood at 1:10 p.m., 4:20 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

-- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times film critic

Photo: A scene from Kon Ichikawa's "The Makioka Sisters." Credit: Toho Co. Ltd

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