Archive for July 30th, 2010

by Allan Fish

(Japan 1967 97m) DVD2 (Japan only, no English subs)

Aka. Joen/Flames of Love

Fishing for sympathy

p  Gendai Eigasha  d  Yoshishige Yoshida  w  Yoshishige Yoshida, Tsutomu Tamura  ph  Mitsuji Kanau  m  Sei Ikeno  art  Chiyoo Umeda

Mariko Okada (Oriko), Isao Kamura (Mitsuharu), Tadahiko Sugano (Furuhata), Shigako Shimegi (sister-in-law), Etsushi Takahashi (labourer), Yoshie Minami (Oriko’s mother),

The choice of title perhaps says a lot about Yoshida’s film and my opinions on it; in the too few places in the west where it is known, it’s seen as Flames of Love as often as The Affair.  Yet, Ozu-like, many of Yoshida’s films’ titles of this era can get confused.  Calling it Flames of Love ensures no confusion with the following year’s Affair in the Snow, but then confused it with the same year’s Flame and Woman, often necessitating that to be called Impasse.  Confused?  It doesn’t matter, but it showcases a similarity with Ozu, namely that though the themes are very different, for a period in the mid sixties there were several variations on the same theme, so much so that either title seems accurate with retrospect.  The Affair is certainly direct and to the point as it concerns love affairs, yet Flames of Love has a certain ambiguity to it, once you accustom yourself to the flames being ice cold. 

            Oriko is unhappily married to an executive.  It’s a year after the death of her mother and she’s returning to her one-time love of poetry, where she again meets sculptor Mitsuharu, her widowed mother’s former toyboy lover.  They meet again over the coming days and weeks, and her unhappiness in her marriage becomes as obvious as Mitsuharu’s previously undeclared love for Oriko.  At the same time, Oriko confronts her husband’s lover and becomes aware of her young sister-in-law’s love for a brutal labourer, with whom she has assignations in a deserted house by a nearby beach.  In trying to persuade the man to leave her sister-in-law alone, she herself succumbs to him, and realises her own need for love. 

            Essentially, if one analyse the plot, it seems like pure melodrama and yet the treatment couldn’t be less melodramatic, a maelstrom of hidden desires, frustrations and tempests occasionally bubbling to the surface like a brief thaw.  Mitsuharu’s profession is (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(USA 1958 100m) DVD1/2

The Girl with the Golden Voice

p  Walter R.Mirisch  d  Anthony Mann  w  Reginald Rose  ph  Ernest Haller  ed  Richard Heermance  m  Leigh Harline  art  Hillyard Brown

Gary Cooper (Link Jones), Lee J.Cobb (Dock Tobin), Julie London (Billie Ellis), Arthur O’Connell (Sam Beasley), Jack Lord (Coaley), John Dehner (Claude), Royal Dano (Trout), Robert Wilke (Ponch),

At the end of Anthony Mann’s profitable western partnership with Jimmy Stewart with The Man from Laramie in 1955, Mann would only make two more westerns of real note, both also starring Hollywood legends no stranger to the saddle.  The first, The Tin Star, featured Henry Fonda in one of his first roles since returning to Hollywood after a spell on the stage.  The second, Man of the West, was seemingly unconnected to The Tin Star in all but the director, but that isn’t entirely true.  In the same year as Fonda made the Mann film, he also made the iconic Twelve Angry Men, which was written by Reginald Rose.  Rose, and indeed Lee J.Cobb, would in turn collaborate with Mann on Man of the West.  It would prove not only the effective farewell to the genre for Mann, but also for Gary Cooper.

            Link Jones is making a journey by train to Fort Worth to try and engage a school-teacher for his burgeoning settlement back west.  He’s cagy and somewhat anxious, an anxiety increased when a local sheriff seems to think he knows him from some place.  He successfully fends him off, but when his train is ambushed by outlaws, though the train escapes, Jones and two passengers – saloon singer Billie Ellis and card shark Sam Beasley – are left stranded.  They walk off to find the nearest settlement, come across a homestead, only to find that it’s the outlaws’ hideout.  The ageing head of the band, Dock Tobin, knows Jones, and he knows him, for he was once his ‘right arm’ and fellow outlaw. (more…)

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Guess the pic

Courtesy of Allan Fish

The winner can submit their screen-cap to movieman0283@gmail.com. Do not include film title in file name so I can participate as well! (Give a day or two for the new picture to go up)

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