Archive for November 2nd, 2008

When shall we three meet again?

When shall we three meet again?


by Allan Fish

(UK 1971 140m) DVD1/2

Out, out, brief candle…

p  Hugh Hefner, Roman Polanski, Andrew Braunsberg  d  Roman Polanski  w  Roman Polanski, Kenneth Tynan  play  William Shakespeare  ph  Gil Taylor  ed  Alastair McIntyre  m  The Third Ear Band  art  Fred Carter, Wilfrid Shingleton  cos  Anthony Mendleson  spc  Ted Samuels 

Jon Finch (Macbeth, Thane of Glamis), Francesca Annis (Lady Macbeth), Martin Shaw (Banquo), Nicholas Selby (Duncan I of Scotland), John Stride (Ross), Stephan Chase (Prince, later Malcolm III), Paul Shelley (Donalbain, later Donald III), Terence Bayler (Macduff), Andrew Laurence (Lennox), Bruce Purchase (Caithness), Keith Chegwin (Fleance), Diane Fletcher (Lady Macduff),

Those four words seem to be the most fitting way to describe Polanski’s film of Shakespeare’s Scottish play.  One must put its making in the context of when it was made.  It was Polanski’s first film since the horrific murder of his beloved Sharon Tate, another candle snubbed out before its time.  In a way, Polanski’s film seems equal parts confession and expurgation, with just a hint of exorcism thrown in.  This, to my mind, is his darkest film, because it shows that much more of his own soul in its running time than the rest of his work put together. (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(Japan 1936 76m) DVD2 (Japan only)

Aka. Arigato-San

The Lives of Five Thieves

d/w  Hiroshi Shimizu  novel  Yasunari Kawabata  ph  Isamu Aoki  m  Keizo Horiuchi 

Ken Uehara (Mr Thank You), Michiko Kuwano, Mayumi Tsukiji, Kaoru Futaba, Takashi Ishiyama, Einosuke Naka, Reikichi Kawamura,

One of the travesties of film history is the plight in retrospect of Hiroshi Shimizu, one of the great Japanese directors of the thirties.  Kenji Mizoguchi once said of him that “where the likes of myself and Ozu get films made by hard work, Shimizu is a genius.”  Belatedly Mikio Naruse and even Sadao Yamanaka have been given their dues in the west, but Shimizu virtually never.  Part of the reason for his neglect was that all his major work was done in the thirties, whereas Mizoguchi, Ozu and even Naruse made great films after 1950, when Rashomon made the west thirsty for more Nippon fare.  Shimizu had slipped the west by. 

            A friendly young bus driver has gained the nickname of Mr Thank You from his passengers and friends because of his incredible politeness towards everyone.  Anyone he passes along the way he thanks, and anyone he accepts onto his bus he greets like a member of his own family.  One day, he stops off at the small coastal town of Shichichenko to take a few passengers to Tokyo, including a young girl who’s been forced to leave the village following a scandal, and another young girl, somewhat more worldly wise, who is vaguely attracted to the driver.  (more…)

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