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A stunning early film from the great Yasujiro Ozu, this stylized underworld drama evokes American crime thrillers and the baroque visual design of Josef von Sternberg in its tale of a Dietrich-style vamp (Kinuyo Tanaka) who will do anything to hold on to her two-bit gangster boyfriend.
"One of Ozu's most appealing films" (David Bordwell), the irresistibly titled Dragnet Girl amazes at every turn with its snappy style. Cast against type, Kinuyo Tanaka dazzles as a Dietrich-style vamp whose days are spent as a typist and whose nights are dedicated to the underworld, where her boyfriend, a one-time champion boxer, now plays two-bit criminal ringleader. She stops at nothing to keep her man, resorting to desperate measures when a young innocent attracts his eye. Influenced by American gangster films and by the baroque visual style of Josef von Sternberg, Dragnet Girl is a densely stylized and engrossing work with its chiaroscuro, refracted images, chockablock compositions, and sweeping camera movements. "What this beautifully shot movie proves is that, had he wished, Ozu could have made superlative genre pictures, noirs included" (The Village Voice); "Spectacularly delirious" (Film Society of Lincoln Center).
Featuring live piano accompaniment by William O'Meara.