Japanese Journals - The Classics. Mizoguchi, Ozu, Kurosawa

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Re: Japanese Journals - The Classics. Mizoguchi, Ozu, Kurosawa

Postby wpqx » Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:29 am

I haven't seen Lady of Masahino yet, but Crucified Lovers is arguably my favorite of all Mizo films (I was just completely won over by the relationship between the two main characters).

Re: Japanese Journals - The Classics. Mizoguchi, Ozu, Kurosawa

Postby arsaib4 » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:16 pm

U.K.'s Artificial-Eye released The Lady of Musashino on R2/Pal DVD back in '04. I believe it's the only English subtitled edition available at this point. Here, it's not even out on VHS. I won't mind if it's part of an Eclipse set devoted to Mizoguchi.

Re: Japanese Journals - The Classics. Mizoguchi, Ozu, Kurosawa

Postby wpqx » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:40 pm

End of Summer/Early Autumn (1961) - Yasujiro Ozu

Call it what you want to, this is Ozu at his most formulaic. The plot is beyond similar and seems identical to at least three other films. So here's the story and stop me if you've heard it before; a recently widowed man is looking to remarry and his friend introduces him to another middle aged widow who seems content to live the rest of her life single and happy. Instead of a young daughter to get married, she has a younger sister who is being courted by respective men but is unsure whether she is ready to tie the knot. Nothing remotely new here but for those fascinated by Ozu's few color films this will be of note more like Equinox Flower + color = this film. I shouldn't get too adamant about the lack of story because so many of his films tread similar water but this is yet another film about the passage of time and the emergence of a young and somewhat foreign generation.

Re: Japanese Journals - The Classics. Mizoguchi, Ozu, Kurosawa

Postby jcdavies » Wed Apr 23, 2008 5:32 pm

Can i go back to Mizo's Loyal 47 Ronin; yes it's very long + testing if you want even some, never mind a lot, of sword fights and action (which i suppose is the general expectation of samurai films). But if you want an exploration of space then it becomes extraordinary. Darrell Davis cites it as the ultimate example of "monumental" Japanese cinema, and its style is certainly a sort of glorification of Japan's (historical) culture and philosophy. But as wpqx says that doesn't necessarily make for the most effective call to arms, even if it does address codes of honour + avenging a slight. Mizo had other fish to fry than simple militaristic propaganda. Instead of showing the main revenge action itself, he foregrounds the reaction of women (not for the first time). Far from his most accessible film but very rewarding if you want to take your time and engage with a completely different and probably unique cinematic experience.

Re: Japanese Journals - The Classics. Mizoguchi, Ozu, Kurosawa

Postby wpqx » Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:38 pm

Miss Oyu/Oyu Sama (1951) - Kenji Mizoguchi

Well amongst remaining Mizoguchi films this was by far my most sought after. While waiting several years for a R1 release I simply gave up and picked up the Eureka release. A decent transfer and a decent segment on the film from Tony Rayns. I was surprised how very little I found written about this film online. The picture is slow paced to a significant fault and seems like a drastic step down amidst Mizoguchi's golden final period. The first film he made for the Daiei company and therefore the inaugural film in a way to this great period. A tale of three people doomed to suffering and longing, making up a somewhat misled and tragic three way love affair. Essentially a man is meeting prospective brides and mistakes his new prospect for her sister. The woman he admires is a widow who is indentured to raise her son with her husband's family. Recognizing the longing her sister agrees to marry the man in order to be a bridge between the two lovers who can't really be together. So they get married in name only so they can remain pure until they can officially be together. In the meantime an awful lot of repressed emotions and a bit of miscasting in the two female leads. For the most part by the time the drama really starts getting going you've been carefully lulled to sleep so it's hard to even care. A bit of a let down following my last excellent Mizo film.


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