Gender I

film 2 of 4

Women of the Night

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jun 1, 2015

A real scorcher! Serene surfaces, with intimations of difficulty and systemic shortcoming, give way to the whirlwind. As a result this is both a very detailed, persuasive sociological and ideological critique, and a deeper, much direr vision. Man as irredeemable! And that’s man, very specifically. Put this one next to Roman Polanski’s Repulsion as a witness than the world is a death camp for women, with the bed as the bier, and sexual voraciousness as the consuming flame. Mizoguchi’s combination of opera and spatial exactitude makes Women of the Night more affecting and effective than Polanski’s expressionism. Says me, anyway. The film’s conclusion, in which the victimized consume each other, is positively Euripidean in its magnitude.