Review of What Did the Lady Forget? (1937)

Moving picture, 71 minutes

Ozu Yasujirō (director).

Seen in 2017.

Screwball comedy. Setsuko, the beautiful Kansai moga existing as she does here outside the context of her peers, prefigures the cool gender-bending fantasies of Japanese animation. The scene of her at a geisha bar is particularly cartoonish, and very funny.

Unfortunately, Setsuko concurs with Tokio that the true protagonist—Komiya—is ultimately right to slap Tokio and thereby assert his masculine authority. Tokio herself proposing this to her girlfriends is a sour ending. It gives the lie to Ozu’s sensitivity to women’s issues at this stage in his career.

moving picture Japanese production fiction