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Archive for November 5th, 2010

 

by Allan Fish

(Japan 1949 89m) DVD2 (France only, no Eng subs)

Aka. Flame of My Love/ Waga koi wa moenu

Freedom and people’s rights

p  Hisayo Itoya, Kiyoshi Shimazu  d  Kenji Mizoguchi  w  Yoshikata Yoda, Kaneto Shindo  novel  Kogo Noda  ph  Kohei Sugiyama, Tomotaro Nishiki  m  Senji Ito  art  Hiroshi Mizutani, Dai Arakawa, Junichiro Osumi 

Kinuyo Tanaka (Eiko Hirayama), Mitsuko Mito (Chiyo), Kuniko Miyabe (Toshiko Kishida), Eitaro Ozawa (Hayase), Ichiro Sugai (Kentaro Omoi), Shinobu Araki,

Probably the most unjustly overlooked film of Kenji Mizoguchi, it’s the greatest exhibit for the defence against charges of disappointment in his forties career.  He made several decent films in the decade, from The 47 Ronin through Five Women Around Utamaro, but there can be no doubt as to what is his greatest forties film, a very definite bridge from his earlier pre-war classics to the string of fifties masterpieces before his premature death. 

            In Okayama in 1880, young Eiko Hirayama expresses her discontent at her friend Chiyo’s having to sell herself to the highest bidder to help her impoverished parents, and her political views lead to the closing down of her school.  Dispirited with her family and home town, she moves to Tokyo where she tries to get involved with the liberal movement.  However, she soon realises that not only will her politics not be tolerated – she ends up spending time in prison for them – but that the so-called liberals are hypocrites seeking freedom only for men and not for women. (more…)

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(Denmark 1977 3 min)

Director Lejf Marcussen

by Stephen Russell-Gebbett

Time lapse photography (each frame captured at a rate significantly slower than that at which it will be played back) is not the first thing you think of when you think of animation. Most people wouldn’t even have considered it to be animation. We have almost certainly come across time lapse in countless nature documentaries or from its most acclaimed use in feature film – Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi and Naqoyqatsi. In a couple of minutes time lapse can make a bud flower, a caterpillar mature and take wing or record the traces of alien flashes in city traffic. Although it can sometimes seem like advanced technological wizardry it was actually first used over a century ago in George Melies’s Carrefour de L’Opera of 1897.

A Picture is a short time lapse study of an island in the middle of a lake. Very little changes, no matter how long you look. The lake freezes and thaws, the sun comes out. All the while, from our vantage point, we hear the sounds of traffic, of stirring classical music mournfully rising, of wind whipped into the roar of jet engines. We are looking at something that we pass by every day, aware of the world’s noises but now concentrated, nay forced, to concentrate elsewhere. We pass the island every day because it is a constant, unmoved by the water or by the currents of life. Even at light speed it sits where it has always sat.

(more…)

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