Chikamatsu's Love in Osaka(1959)
The adopted son of an Osaka courier falls in love with a prostitute and, discovering that she is about to be purchased by a client, steals money from his employer to redeem her. Hunted criminals, the two young lovers take flight to Yamato, but, as in Chikamatsu's other domestic tragedies of love and duty (known as sewamono), they must be pursued and their passion destroyed by death. Favourite Uchida themes, such as the indenturing of a prostitute (cf. YOSHIWARA; A BLOODY SPEAR AT MT. FUJI), and his characteristic emphasis on performance and theatrical artifice re-emerge here; but the daring device of having Chikamatsu appear as a character - not unlike having Shakespeare interpolated into a film adaptation of one of his plays - is just one of many surprises this remarkable film holds. “Extraordinary” (Donald Richie).