Archive for July 27th, 2010

by Allan Fish

(Japan 1965 120m) DVD2 (Japan only, no English subs)

Aka. Mizu de kakareta monogatari

A parasol on the water

p  Hirokichi Ito, Akio Komazaki  d  Yoshishige Yoshida  w  Yoshishige Yoshida, Yoshio Ishido, Rumiko Kora  novel  Yojiro Ishizaka  ph  Tatsuo Suzuki  ed  Hiroshi Asai  m  Sei Ichiyanagi  art  Itsuro Hirata, Haroyasu Kurosawa 

Mariko Okada (Shizuka Matsutani), Ruriko Asaoka (Yumiko Hashimoto), Yasunori Irikawa (Shizuo Matsutani), Isao Yamagata (Denzo Hashimoto), Shin Kishida (Takao Matsutani), Masakazu Kuwayama (Yamakazi), Heiko Yumi (geisha),

This 1965 drama represented a changing point for Yoshida from his earlier works to the thought-provoking dense masterworks for which he would become famous from here until 1973’s Coup d’Etat.  Black and white rules with Yoshida, of the nine films made within that period, only two were shot in colour and one of those on location in Europe.  Somehow colour didn’t suit the subtexts of his films.  These are dark films where white is nonetheless the most prominent colour in his greyscale spectrum. 

            This one follows effectively a group of four characters.  Shizuo is a young man who had declared his intention to marry young Yumiko, the daughter of Hashimoto, one of his bosses.  All might be rosy, but for the parents; for Hashimoto has long loved Shizuo’s widowed mother Shizuka.  Shizuo has fiercely determined that his mother shall never remarry and refuses to contemplate her possible remarriage to Hashimoto, and comes to believe that Hashimoto and his mother have been having an affair and that it may stretch back way before his father’s death ten years previously. (more…)

Read Full Post »

by Allan Fish

the first in a series of six pieces on the classics of Anthony Mann…a one off to accompany Sam’s piece on Mann.

(USA 1948 78m) DVD1

A whole tidy little pile of rocks

p  Edward Small  d  Anthony Mann  w  Leopold Atlas, John C.Higgins  story  Arnold B.Armstrong, Audrey Ashley  ph  John Alton  ed  Alfred de Gaetano  m  Paul Sawtell  art  Edward L.Ilou 

Dennis O’Keefe (Joe Sullivan), Claire Trevor (Pat Cameron), Marsha Hunt (Ann Martin), Raymond Burr (Rick Coyle), John Ireland (Fantail), Curt Conway (Spider), Chili Williams (Marcy), Regis Toomey (Capt.Fields), Harry Tyler (Oscar), Whit Bissell (murderer),

I can’t remember who coined the term ‘termite art’ to describe the ‘B’ movie classics churned out on the cheap in Hollywood in the forties.  Edgar G.Ulmer was probably the most famous exponent, but Anthony Mann deserves a mention, too.  Easy to forget that, prior to his reinvention of the western as a psychological landscape as much as a physical, Mann also stamped his mark on the noir world.  Desperate, T-Men, Side Street, even an uncredited stint on He Walked by Night.  All decent films, yet lacking that authentic grit; Raw Deal was rather a film like the identities faked by Itzhak Stern and co. in Schindler’s List, they were too new, they needed tearing, crunching up, having coffee spilt on them to add that sense of having been places.  Raw Deal had it in spades, not on the surface where you could easily spot it, but in the hidden corners, the searchlights at the prison, the smell of the flambé Burr’s suited villain tosses into some poor girl’s face, the musky smell in the room where two characters fight it out in the dark.  (more…)

Read Full Post »