Sunday, January 09, 2005

And the Good Stuff?

Bend It Like Beckham: Certainly not Bhaji on the Beach, but still very nice. We got the VHS tape from the Somerville Library, and of course, there were some tracking problems, too. Wouldn't say no to seeing this one again.

Men Who Step on the Tiger's Tail: Early Kurosawa, apparently censored by the Japanese film board at the time for being unfaithful to the Kabuki form and afterwards, by the Americans for its depiction of Feudal Loyalty. It is, however, a beautiful, intimate sketch of loyalty, courage and patience.

The toggling between open air scenes and closed, stage like sets, along with the usage of traditional Japanese and awfully Western sounding music brought to mind another cinematic great. Made me wonder, too, if Kurosawa's film wasn't a fair bit ahead of its time.

Finally! Six months after the Harvard Film Archive throws a huge party for the Godfather of Japanese Cinema, we get to see one of his works. Criterion's put out a double DVD that features both Floating Weeds and A Story of Floating Reeds. We saw remake first. I was so charmed by this film that I am anxious to see the original. Though verymuch a Japanese film, with its scene framing, the seaside locale and the music it brought to mind both the Jacques Tati films and Les Demoiselles de Rochefort. There was also a certain wistfulness about the past and acceptance of whatever might happen in the future that catches my heart when I think about it. This one was such a jewel.

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