An Actor’s Revenge

An Actor’s Revenge

Directed by Kon Ichikawa • 1963 • Japan
Starring Kazuo Hasegawa, Fujiko Yamamoto, Ayako Wakao

A uniquely prolific and chameleonic figure of world cinema, Kon Ichikawa delivered a burst of stylistic bravado with this intricate tale of betrayal and retribution. Set in the cloistered world of nineteenth-century kabuki theater, the film charts a female impersonator’s attempts to avenge the deaths of his parents, who were driven to insanity and suicide by a trio of corrupt men. Ichikawa takes the conventions of melodrama and turns them on their head, bringing the hero’s fractured psyche to life in boldly experimental widescreen compositions infused with kaleidoscopic color, pop-art influences, and meticulous choreography. Anchored by a magnificently androgynous performance by Kazuo Hasegawa, reprising a role he had played on-screen three decades earlier, AN ACTOR’S REVENGE is an eye-popping examination of how the illusions of art intersect with life.

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An Actor’s Revenge
  • An Actor’s Revenge

    Directed by Kon Ichikawa • 1963 • Japan
    Starring Kazuo Hasegawa, Fujiko Yamamoto, Ayako Wakao

    A uniquely prolific and chameleonic figure of world cinema, Kon Ichikawa delivered a burst of stylistic bravado with this intricate tale of betrayal and retribution. Set in the cloistered world of ninet...

Extras

  • Kon Ichikawa on AN ACTOR’S REVENGE

    In this 1999 interview for the Directors Guild of Japan, director Kon Ichikawa discusses his career with film critic Yuki Mori.

  • Tony Rayns on AN ACTOR’S REVENGE

    In this interview, filmmaker, critic, and festival programmer Tony Rayns examines the themes and visual styles of AN ACTOR’S REVENGE and places the film in the context of Kon Ichikawa’s oeuvre.