Archive for March 30th, 2012

by Allan Fish

(Japan 1947 74m) DVD1/2

Aka. Nagaya Shinshiroku

Fanning the futon

d  Yasujiro Ozu  w  Tadao Ikeda, Yasujiro Ozu  ph  Yuharu Atsuta  ed  Yoshi Sugihara  m  Ichiro Saito  art  Tatsuo Hamada

Choko Iida (Tané), Hohi Aoki (Kohei), Eitaro Ozawa (Father), Mitsuko Yoshikawa (Kikuko), Reikichi Kawamura (Tamekichi), Hideko Mimura (Okiku), Chishu Ryu (Tashiro), Takeshi Sakamoto (Kawayashi), Eiko Takamatsu (Tome),

In the opening episode of Mark Cousins’ intoxicating The Story of Film: An Odyssey, he discusses the creation, in cinema’s infancy, of what would become film’s vocabulary, the syntax of how shots were put together to show what he referred to as the ‘then’ (what comes next) and the ‘meanwhile’ (what happens at the same time in another location).  Professional film scholars would go to great lengths and infinite detail about the gradual use of cross-cutting, of continuity editing, or parallel editing, all designed to illustrate how a story moves. Then there’s the paradox. 

            In the same episode Cousins talked about how Alfred Hitchcock once called cinema “life with the boring bits cut out.”  Yet how can film mirror life if it only acts as a sort of lifespan or time period highlights package?  To Yasujiro Ozu, film was all about the ‘boring bits’, the ephemera, the tiny detail.  Cousins highlighted a sequence from an Ozu film that isn’t generally chosen when it comes to Ozu.  Chances are a dozen other films would be chosen ahead of it, but Record of a Tenement Gentleman repays repeat viewings; it grows on you. (more…)

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