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Archive for July 19th, 2009

Gone With the Wind, 1939, directed by Victor Fleming (with uncredited assistance from George Cukor and Sam Wood)

Story: In an age of “cotton and cavaliers,” spoiled Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) is the belle of the plantation barbecue. But then war – the Civil War – comes to her chivalric South, and her way of life is swept away, or gone with the wind, as author Margaret Mitchell put it in her bestselling novel. Soon this young beauty (who was once fanned by slaves during afternoon naps) is vowing to the angry sky, “As God as my witness, I’ll never be hungry again!” Even as she pursues the married and genteel Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard), and is alternately seduced and bedeviled by the charming anti-gentleman Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), Scarlett does her best to keep good to this promise. (more…)

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ceremony 1

by Allan Fish

(Japan 1971 121m) DVD2 (Japan only, no Eng subs)

Aka. Gishiki

Nothing is unthinkable

p  Kinshiru Kuzui, Takuji Yamaguchi  d  Nagisa Oshima  w  Nagisa Oshima, Tsutomo Tamura  ph  Toichiro Narushima  ed  Keiichi Uraoka  m  Toru Takemitsu  art  Jusho Toda

Kenzo Kawarazaki (Masuo), Atsuo Nakamura (Terumichi), Akiko Koyama (Satsuko), Atsoku Kako (Ritsuko), Kiyoshi Tsuchiya (Tadashi), Kei Sato (Grandfather Kazuomi), Fumio Watanabe, Nobuko Otowa,

Japanese cinema has always been unable to shake off stereotyping, pigeon-holing and the cursed canonical critical approbation theory.  Names such as Kurosawa, Mizoguchi and Ozu – in the order in which they were made known to the west – are rightly fêted, as now are Kinoshita, Naruse, Yamanaka, Ichikawa, and so many other masters.  However, the post-war era – by which I mean directors who worked exclusively after the armistice, has been less discussed in the west.  This is partly due to the two greatest – and certainly most influential – of that generation of directors, Nagisa Oshima and Shohei Imamura, rarely being mentioned in the west for the early films that made their name and remain their best, rather than the later ones that got to the west and were appreciated.  Oshima, to me, is the biggest sufferer, for he is Imamura’s master, the greatest of all the anti-establishment auteurs of the era, and though Ai No Corrida was a masterpiece of its type, it’s this earlier film that is his most important, as well as the crowning glory on three years of masterful work.  Derek Malcolm was quite right when he observed that “he is undoubtedly as significant and skilful a director as most of the great Japanese film-makers of the generation before him.” (more…)

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