Bank Managers and Mistresses (Part 3)

GINZA CONSMETICS (銀座化粧, 1951), WHEN A WOMAN ASCENDS THE STAIRS (女が階段を上る時, 1960) … In Mikio Naruse’s films, we meet vulnerable women in psychologically and economically trying situations and, often times, we find them working in Ginza nightclubs. “Hostesses”, as they are called, serve alcohols and entertain male customers in a dark and smoke-filled hall every night while they maneuver themselves to avoid troubles with them. Most of the customers are ‘salarymen’ looking for some flirtation and pseudo-love relationship with young hostesses, who are sometimes 30, 40 years junior. Customer’s logic is “we need consolation after a day of brutal corporate …