Japanese Journals - The Classics. Mizoguchi, Ozu, Kurosawa

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

Postby wpqx » Fri Apr 07, 2006 1:36 pm

thanks for the encouragment, and I think I'll stay away from that remake, however I would recommend an American musical by George Cukor called Les Girls. It plays with multiple views of the same story, plus there's Gene Kelly, and plenty of musical numbers, no where near as serious as Rashomon, worth checking out.
wpqx
 


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

Postby wpqx » Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:26 pm

Rhapsody in August (1991)

Perhaps it was because of his age, but Kurosawa left with this film dealing with some ghosts of Japan as well as America. A contemporary story that doesn't try to be anything bigger than it is. A simple tale about a family, and the ghosts of the atom bomb. It might be a common assumption that directors in their later years become more reflective and generally slow their films down. This is certainly the case with Kurosawa, who spent most of his career being more ambitious and working on such an enormous scale that a film this small might seem like the work of a completely different director.
The plot is not too dense. A family in Nagasaki happens to have a rich uncle in Hawaii. He married an American, and his children all speak English and broken Japanese. They are millionares in the pineapple business, and of course their foreign relatives are trying to be especially nice because of it. The patriarch of the Hawaiin family would like to see his little sister once more before he dies. The sister happens to be stubborn, and doesn't even remember her brother, after all she had 10 brothers and sisters. She recognizes that her children are going there simply to suck up to a rich relative, and they could care less about actually seeing their family. However her brother keeps insisting that she go.
The Story is mostly seen through the eyes of her grandchildren who are trying to convince her to take the trip to Hawaii (for selfish reasons as well, they want to go with). Kurosawa seems to have developed some small contempt for members of the adult generation. His story focuses on the young (and presumably innocent) and the elderly. These are the people who see the world as it is, not through filters. They say the truth because that's what it is, whereas the grownups are so worried about offending someone they weave a very pointless web of lies.
I can't say the style fits Kurosawa well. Ozu might have worked wonders with this, but the quiet and lyrical aren't always Kurosawa's strongest qualities. He made one more film after Rhapsody (1993's Madayayo), but it seemed clear to me that his best work by this point was clearly behind him.

Grade C -
wpqx
 

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

Postby trevor826 » Mon May 01, 2006 6:45 am

Thanks again for all your work wpqx, it's been a good while for me since last seeing Rhapsody in August and although it doesn't match the quality of the majority of his earlier work I do have a soft spot for it.

Your review has given me the urge to revisit the film and no doubt I will very soon.

Cheers Trev.
trevor826
 

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

Postby A » Sat May 20, 2006 11:35 pm

Also a belated thanks from me for all your comments. I have finally come around to reading them, and your enthusiasm can be claerly felt.
Haven't seen Ikiru, yet but Throne of Blood was my favorite Kurosawa film until I saw Kagemusha and Ran. But I need to see much more by Kurosawa Ozu and Mizoguchi.
A
 

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

Postby trevor826 » Fri Aug 04, 2006 9:19 pm

Originally posted by Sara

I'm not sure where to put this, but anyway here it is.

I just watched Ozu's Late Spring. I usually have loved all of Ozu's films.

But what is wrong with me? This film is said to be "powerful" and I could feel the father/daughter relationship. I really could.

But I got horribly annoyed at all the SMILING - especially the main female character (the daughter.)

Just smile - smile - smile.

Did any of you get annoyed - or a bit irritated - with all the smiling?

Maybe it is better than 9/10ths of American films where they all blow up at each other and shout four letter words.

But maybe it was a little repressed... What do you think?

Sara
trevor826
 

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

Postby trevor826 » Fri Aug 04, 2006 9:21 pm

Originally posted by wpqx

There was a lot of smiling indeed. As far as where to put it, there is a thread for Ozu, Kurosawa, and Mizoguchi in the classic film section, but this would work fine. I found the film only slightly overrated, but I believe for different reasons.
trevor826
 

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

Postby trevor826 » Fri Aug 04, 2006 9:22 pm

Originally posted by Sara

For what reasons did you find it over rated? I'd be interested in knowing.

It was a very gentle, thoughtful film, but as I said yesterday, all those smiles just got under my skin.

Sara
trevor826
 

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

Postby trevor826 » Fri Aug 04, 2006 9:23 pm

Originally posted by wpqx

I enjoyed it, and was impressed with the novelty of actually seeing the camera move in an Ozu film. However its reputation puts it on a level with Early Summer and Tokyo Story, and I just don't think its "that" good. One of these days I will watch the Criterion dvd I got of it, and perhaps that might help, it did a little for Tokyo Story the second time.

Oh and Setsuko Hara can smile all she wants.
trevor826
 

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

Postby trevor826 » Fri Aug 04, 2006 9:25 pm

Originally posted by Sara

wpqx, could you move our discussion of Late Spring to the director's files? (Kurosawa, Ozu, Mizoguchi.)

I have been so troubled by the film. It was all the pain behind the smiling that I am getting in touch with.

At first I was annoyed by all the smiling. But now the loneliness of the film, the father at the end peeling an apple facing aloneness, and the daughter going off to a marriage she did not want - all of it is bearing down on me.

Please move this to the Ozu director's spot so we can discuss it further.

Sara
trevor826
 

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

Postby trevor826 » Fri Aug 04, 2006 9:26 pm

Originally posted by Sara

Please when you move our discussion of Late Spring, include this review by Roger Ebert (which I just found) and he says it better than I can.

"Late Spring
Sadness beneath the smiles

Link:
rogerebert.suntimes.com/a...30301/1023

Beautiful insight, don't you think>

Sara
trevor826
 

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