Watched The Crucified Lovers last night. So great.
― tanuki, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 21:38 (1 year ago) Permalink
(i asked my mum, she had nothing. told me about having talked to someone in the pub who'd watched 'the last samurai' recently. and did recognise 'seven samurai' when i mentioned it.)
― koogs, Monday, 13 February 2012 09:38 (1 year ago) Permalink
Sisters of the Gion — excellent.
― tanuki, Friday, 24 February 2012 05:06 (1 year ago) Permalink
(the new mizoguchi box set with that in has been delayed a couple of weeks)
but i watched Equinox Flower, ozu's first colour film, and it was obvious he was playing with it a bit - bright red objects in nearly every frame. story all very familiar though.
― koogs, Friday, 24 February 2012 08:00 (1 year ago) Permalink
Don't think any documentaries have been mentioned:
Kazuo Hara - Extreme Private Eros
Noriaki Tsuchimoto - Minimata: The Victims and Their World. This one is something - follows the victims 10+ year fight to have a chemical company bought to account for their pollution and destruction of lives, families and communities leading to the victims storming the shareholders meeting. It is VERY cleverly put together - Tsuchimoto actually isolates the woman's distressed cries and speech and scream at the president of the company and it totally works - one of the most manipulative and yet powerful sequences in cinema I can think of, an effective (to say the least) climax to all the testimonies of physical pain, mental anguish, social discrimination and government's failure to act.
Never has the traditional bowing motion been cast in a more disgusting light - its all these suits want to do!
I speak of Tsuchimoto's manipulation, but just in the sense that all film/documentary is a manipulation in the first place - and how you can harness that. Aesthetically its quite striking; the print I watched was awful but a restoration will surely bring back the elegance of those sunsets and fishing scenes. He is overall exemplary when leaving scenes of burnt and severely crippled flesh, insanity, paralysis he is truly unflinching as the best of 'em; but also respectful and he never stoops to the personal observation or (god forbid) Micheal Moore style clowning.
― xyzzzz__, Friday, 24 February 2012 22:55 (1 year ago) Permalink
The Kazuo Hara is v barmy - just talked about it on some other thread. Seeing these back-to-back you think 70s cinema really was the most incredible thing. That is said of film, but rarely of documentaries.
― xyzzzz__, Friday, 24 February 2012 22:57 (1 year ago) Permalink
I'll be hunting for some Shinsuke Ogawa.
The New God also looks p good.
More Japanese doc recommendations would be welcome.
― xyzzzz__, Friday, 24 February 2012 23:08 (1 year ago) Permalink
^^ thanks for recommending this, really can't say I've ever seen anything like it. profound film.
― Milton Parker, Friday, 24 February 2012 23:11 (1 year ago) Permalink
No probs: The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On is also incredible btw (saw it on TV years ago).
― xyzzzz__, Friday, 24 February 2012 23:14 (1 year ago) Permalink
'emperor's naked army' is on some dateline shit, it's p goodim intrigued by the 'extreme private eros' rec also
― johnny crunch, Friday, 24 February 2012 23:18 (1 year ago) Permalink
Looking fwd to some Terayama:
― xyzzzz__, Saturday, 17 March 2012 09:47 (1 year ago) Permalink
This ws worth a watch, Terayama has an eye for composition for a scene -- one where he is playing chess with the character representing his 13 year old self, somewhere in the country with people moving about in a pleasing yet enigmatic way (it is dreamland), sudden switches from colour to one colour filters depending on the bit of dialogue, then an appearance and 'mad' speech by Japanese singer Kan Mikami (this ws great to see, as someone who heard his music years ago, need to pull out the recs I have after I fire this off). REally good 10 min scene.
Tate did kind of fuck up the context -- it ws meant to be a dbl bill aroudn mothers, and while the film is about Terayama's relationship w/his mother at times the dominant theme is the strong childhood memories you attain and cannot shake off -- despite trying to re-order them in fiction and film-time. The landscape of the memory cannot be altered -- and this programme ws orig titled Landscape Theories of the Past). They've taken it off the site but originally it ws a dbl bill w/Oshima's The Man Who Left his Will on Film, which makes sense. This ws a not-quite Mothers Day thing -- v fkn art gallery, unfortunately.
The booklet is good, making my way through an exchange between T and Mishima.
Back to Terayama -- which is a tick from me, need to see some more features.
― xyzzzz__, Saturday, 17 March 2012 23:43 (1 year ago) Permalink
re: Terayama. On the minus side there ws a bit made of his taboo breaking blah and I'm not sure that really registers, which is fair enough, its bound to age. Some of the songs don't quite work, sadly. More pluses in that I really liked some of his poetry and -- quite a big theme from the booklet I picked up -- his desire for a theatre in/from/of the streets and open spaces was well communicated. The last shot is a manifesto for that.
I watcched Ogawa, quoted pulled from the article above:
But first, a quick overview of the Ogawa story: After a couple of films cataloguing issues relating to the student and civil unrest that was occurring in Tokyo following the extension of the Japan-America Joint Security Pact (or Anpo treaty), Ogawa Pro's filmography falls fairly neatly into two halves. The first consists of the monumental seven-title series released between 1968-73 and beginning with The Battle Front for the Liberation of Japan -Summer in Sanrizuka, which chronicled in gargantuan detail the struggle between local farmers against the government's decision to build Tokyo's new Narita international airport on their land, a time described by Nornes as "one of the most traumatic social struggles in modern Japanese history." The peak of the protests, captured in the film Sanrizuka - Peasants of the Second Fortress (1971) ("the Seven Samurai of social protest documentaries") saw the farmers' ranks swelled by hordes of sympathetic students and members from radical leftist groups; a grand total of some 20,000 protesters amassed against 30,000 police. It's no exaggeration to say that Japan was effectively in a state of near civil war at the peak of the Narita protests.
Watched Peasants of the Second Fortress. I can see the Seven Samurai thing as they are defending their space, just that the peasants digged tunnels and tied themselves to trees!! And, of course, no one saves the day. The copy I had was on its last legs, the subtitles were therefore hard to read at times, and what ws there in itself was incomplete but there was enough visual meat -- in one of he conversations between the peasants there is a bit about how 'mundane' protests scenes are and I think that is where the comparisons to film depart. This film revelled in mundaity and grit: thing looked like, well...at times like last summer's riots in London -- a carnival of mundane destruction ('cept it wasn't summer, and here the sympathies are with people fighting for the right not to be moved). Not sure it felt like civil war, like the quote says, but when peasants who admit they aren't 'educated' have suddenly seemed to learn almost all they need to about power and politics through their experiences it felt equally seismic somehow.
― xyzzzz__, Sunday, 18 March 2012 00:06 (1 year ago) Permalink
watched Chikamatsu Monogatari and Uwasa No Onna. both for the second time. just Sansho and Gion Bayashi left to watch from the late mizoguchi box.
new mid-period Artifical Eye Mizoguchi box has arrived too. oh, artificial eye, why you print the titles on the sides of your dvds the wrong way around? and whilst the Eureka! dvds all have lavish booklets the AE came with nothing. (but maybe there are extras on the discs.)
― koogs, Sunday, 18 March 2012 09:24 (1 year ago) Permalink
Couple of MIzoguchi films at the ICA in Apr -- haven't seen Sansho so will wait to check out those tracking shots on the big screen next month.
― xyzzzz__, Sunday, 18 March 2012 09:47 (1 year ago) Permalink
kurosawa crime drama box set has arrived. not seen any of them. am a bit fearful tbh, don't really know what to expect. but all the kurosawa boxes are cheap on amazon at the moment. £15 for the samurai box is a bargain.
haven't watched any of the aforementioned mid-period mizoguchi either.
bought the new miike yesterday, his remake of Hara Kiri. bought it in the supermarket, because i could.
― koogs, Thursday, 10 May 2012 13:48 (1 year ago) Permalink
Shindo obit from the guardian.
― koogs, Sunday, 3 June 2012 09:11 (11 months ago) Permalink
Sight and Sound tribute
Looking forward to the season.
― xyzzzz__, Sunday, 3 June 2012 09:26 (11 months ago) Permalink
There are a bunch of not-so-terrible Japanese films up on yt at the moment.
― Muschiaufstand (CONGO, M.D.), Monday, 10 September 2012 23:09 (8 months ago) Permalink
Yup, watched four of Mizoguchi's films this week, and more to come.
Koji Wakamatsu passed away after being hit by a taxi!
Whatever you think of their rough-and-ready quality (and I've only seen a couple) (either in the way they were made, or their politics) I really liked his shit-stirring ways.
He helped get In the Realm of the Senses made, too!
― xyzzzz__, Friday, 19 October 2012 19:16 (7 months ago) Permalink
Is When a Woman Ascends the Stairs? anywhere on yt?
― xyzzzz__, Friday, 19 October 2012 19:38 (7 months ago) Permalink
So been watching loads of Mizoguchi:
Five Women Around Utamaro (1946)A Geisha (1953)The Crucified Lovers (1954)A Story of Late Chrysanthemums (1939)
Five Women... is a good counterpart to a story of late chrysanthemums, in its depiction of (male) artists as a vampiric species.
A Geisha is a side of Mizoguchi I'm hoping to explore more this coming week -- i.e., more contemporary: the way men use women outright by their bodies, and his outrage that Geishas weren't seen as prostitutes (Prostitution was made illegal in '57, a year after M's death). You could say the others are offset by an 'its all kinda of ok if the art is good'; not saying this is the case but its far more conflicted, as oposed to the Geisha dramas which involve a businessman groping a woman 30 years younger than him (and when you watch these back-to-back the flesh crawls as you see repeatedly the way men touch and avail themselves to women).
For all of the above I'll go w/The Crucified Lovers as something he possibly may not improve upon, for my eye. Maybe its the feeling of relief after watching tale after tale depicting a complete failure of relations between men and women that he is able to bring to conjure up an adaptation of a story of the organic growth of such utter love and devotion in such a convincing manner. It even tops ...Crysanthemums in the way the relationship turns to something cordial and master-and-servant (here it helps the story is set at an earlier era in Japanese history) to a partnership of equals in an instant. The music is punctuating: best moment is the strings beginning as the fugitives in their first night together discuss whether they should sleep in the same room.
And The acting really makes this, the way the two of them express their love with enough measure of suffocation to bliss, to switch seamlessly to utter sadness, and then to surpise w/the look of pleased evil in their faces as they march to their deaths. Perhaps revelling in the scandal and the fuck-you to family and duty they were somehow meant to follow (to know your place and serve your disgusting master) but just pleasure and contentedness that they are able to die together. Really great moment in cinema.
― xyzzzz__, Friday, 19 October 2012 22:18 (7 months ago) Permalink
> his outrage that Geishas weren't seen as prostitutes
mizoguchi's outrage? that not the impression i got from the various intros to the dvds i've seen which seemed to say he was sympathetic. i think we covered this upthread.
― koogs, Saturday, 20 October 2012 09:36 (6 months ago) Permalink
Just went back to the posts. That article I linked to he calls hs last film Red Light District. My impression is enforced by watching his non-Geisha films, so in the Crucified Lovers the male lover stresses that he would never spend money on a Geisha. Not that he was utterly "correct" as in later on, when discussing the random lovers as they are paraded for their punishment he responds to accusations that the law is on the side of men by saying they broke the law.
From the posts upthread he might have been conflicted but all I saw were bits of not too subtle rage: Geishas were a relic of the past that somehow survived for the pleasures of men, and for tourism (the head former Geisha (in A Geisha compares their partic form of Geishadom to the Japenese tea ceremony). And I observed that disgust Mizoguchi manages to insert in many of his films in the way (usually older) men grope women.
I've yet to find any sympathy but as I said I'll watch a few more of these..
― xyzzzz__, Saturday, 20 October 2012 10:38 (6 months ago) Permalink
afaik mizoguchi's sister was a geisha and helped pay for his education (or some such)
― bryan "radical" ferry (clouds), Saturday, 20 October 2012 12:17 (6 months ago) Permalink
any of these titles familiar?
Art Theater Guild and Japanese Underground Cinema, 1960–1984
― saltwater incursion (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 27 November 2012 16:39 (5 months ago) Permalink
Pitfall and Death by Hanging both pretty well-known, tho I haven't seen either.
― Bobby Ken Doll (Eric H.), Tuesday, 27 November 2012 16:47 (5 months ago) Permalink
Oh yeah, Oshima -- may have seen that, in fact. Also have read about The Man Who Left His Will on Film.
― saltwater incursion (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 27 November 2012 16:52 (5 months ago) Permalink
FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES and PITFALL are perhaps slightly better known in Europe than in the US, thanks to their release on Region 2 DVD. The former is properly kaleidoscopic and polymorphously peverse, and allegedly influenced some of the decor in Clockwork Orange; the latter is the first collaboration between Hiroshi Teshigahara and Kobo Abe (and Takemitsu) before they went on to make Woman of the Dunes, and is a bit more 'leftist' (socially realist) than the Matsumoto. Both are well worth catching, imho (as are lots of the others, I'm sure - Oshima, Shindo and Imamura are normally pretty reliable, no? )
― Ward Fowler, Tuesday, 27 November 2012 16:53 (5 months ago) Permalink
thx. I also missed that they just have the first 2 weeks of titles posted....
― saltwater incursion (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 27 November 2012 17:04 (5 months ago) Permalink
Missed that the nutty Funeral Parade is part of the lineup.
― Bobby Ken Doll (Eric H.), Tuesday, 27 November 2012 17:08 (5 months ago) Permalink
that Mishima film is kinda disturbing to watch if you know how he died later on
― ばか ざっぴ (zappi), Tuesday, 27 November 2012 17:14 (5 months ago) Permalink
I think that's the first thing most ppl know about him...
― saltwater incursion (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 27 November 2012 17:29 (5 months ago) Permalink
There was an ATG season at the BFI last year, but this is a different slice, w/a short-film prog and a couple of films from the 80s, past the point at which the ATG is seem to be a significant force (but hey it was tough for everybody in the 80s so I've heard)
Anyway I saw Pandemonium and if Funeral Parade... will always be the Matsumoto film this overlong-ish adaptation of this Kabuki play has a lot of style and verve to go along with the violence. Love the shots of people running around with those lanterns late at night.
Seen both of the Oshima films: Death by Hanging is a must, takes his whole rage at the xenophobic treatment of Korean citizens by the Japanese authorities to a peak (he made a couple of other films on that subject) by also aligning it with an attack at the Japanses judiciary and the conformist mindset. The Man Who Left his Will.. is one you can look at as Oshima's lament for cinema as revolutionary/the confusion of youth in '68, so in some ways a sad film.
Masao Adachi is an interestinng figure. He joined the Palestinian camps in 1970 (shortly after that film was completed, I think it was after the Cannes film fest) and stayed in and around for years, only returning to Japan and any filmmaking a few years ago. Spent time in jail for all sorts of er activites. I could watch his film right now tbh.
― xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 27 November 2012 17:35 (5 months ago) Permalink
Just to correct the above he left Japan around '74.
― xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 27 November 2012 17:47 (5 months ago) Permalink
Ikiru (1952). superb.
― koogs, Tuesday, 11 December 2012 19:22 (5 months ago) Permalink
i would really like to see some more recent japanese films
― Nilmar Honorato da Silva, Tuesday, 11 December 2012 19:25 (5 months ago) Permalink
new aoyama seems to be some MOR drama thing
― Nilmar Honorato da Silva, Tuesday, 11 December 2012 19:26 (5 months ago) Permalink
new kore-eda bluray is on the internet but no subtitles
(also, and this is possibly an aside, hmv have a bunch of cheap anime at the moment, for £3 and up. 2 different Dead Space (the video game) things, Appleseed, Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Origin, Van Helsing, a Ghost in the Shell thing?, er, Astro Boy)
― koogs, Tuesday, 11 December 2012 19:38 (5 months ago) Permalink
i have hulu plus and am regularly daunted by the amount of japanese films they have. would love to spend a weekend just plowing through some random ones
― GAY HIPSTER BATMAN ON HIS WAY TO A CIRCUIT PARTY (donna rouge), Tuesday, 11 December 2012 19:42 (5 months ago) Permalink
Satoshi Miki has a new film out soon, Ore Ore (It's Me, It's Me), i'm a fan so hoping its gooda film based on Tokyo Story is coming out next month, looks as rubbish as you'd expect :/ http://youtu.be/VQjiqxx3rNw
― ばか ざっぴ (zappi), Tuesday, 11 December 2012 19:50 (5 months ago) Permalink
― Nilmar Honorato da Silva, Tuesday, 11 December 2012 15:26 (24 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink
i wish, or one of the others? i can't keep track w/kore-eda, he seems to make a lot, some of which become canonical & the others which are just "oh yeah he made a film about a sex doll you can get it on import nbd"
― what is google (schlump), Tuesday, 11 December 2012 19:51 (5 months ago) Permalink
― Nilmar Honorato da Silva, Tuesday, 11 December 2012 19:54 (5 months ago) Permalink
the only one of his i have seen is nobody knows iirc
i'm the same, i've only seen after life & spend most days feeling guilt at not having got to nobody knows or marborosi (i figure still walking will be sorta easier than those?, & so/somehow it's less alluring). nobody knows sounds really great, i think i'm gonna try to squeeze it in over the holidays. after life is classic fwiw.
― what is google (schlump), Tuesday, 11 December 2012 20:01 (5 months ago) Permalink
i was going to do a double bill of 'distant' and that film about the japanese red army
― Nilmar Honorato da Silva, Tuesday, 11 December 2012 20:03 (5 months ago) Permalink
"still walking" is great, obv ozu comparisons will be made but it's a quiet japanese generational family drama what can you do
― horse motivator (clouds), Tuesday, 11 December 2012 20:29 (5 months ago) Permalink
so the MoMA series continues... more on Wakamatsu and 'pink cinema'?
― saltwater incursion (Dr Morbius), Friday, 4 January 2013 12:51 (4 months ago) Permalink
Saw Ecstasy..., its very rough around the edges (that's the way he likes it), a very different side to Japanese film (even compared to Oshima), he likes to initiate conversation around other underground(s) (Japanese free jazz, deals w/The Red Army), doesn't flinch at the seedy Shinjuku side of life etc.
Don't enough about 'pink cinema' though...
― xyzzzz__, Friday, 4 January 2013 13:15 (4 months ago) Permalink