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 osnap - a film log 
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 osnap - a film log

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100. Tokyo Story (1953, Ozu)
99. Tokyo Decadence (1992, Murakami)
98. Chinatown (1974, Polański)
97. Last Summer (1969, Perry)
96. Nothing But a Man (1964, Roemer)
95. Tropical Malady (2004, Weerasethakul)
94. The Sword of Doom (1966, Okamoto)
93. The Hole (1998, Tsai)
92. Come and See (1985, Klimov)
91. The End of Evangelion (1997, Anno & Tsurumaki)

90. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974, Hooper)
89. Intimate Lighting (1965, Passer)
88. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Kubrick)
87. House of Tolerance (2011, Bonello)
86. The Ascent (1977, Shepitko)
85. The Ceremony (1971, Ōshima)
84. Blow-Up (1966, Antonioni)
83. The Shop Around the Corner (1940, Lubitsch)
82. The Birds (1963, Hitchcock)
81. Raging Bull (1980, Scorsese)

80. Spring Breakers (2013, Korine)
79. Happy Together (1997, Wong)
78. Close-Up (1990, Kiarostami)
77. Trust (1990, Hartley)
76. Vertigo (1958, Hitchcock)
75. The Silence (1963, Bergman)
74. Salò (1975, Pasolini)
73. Letter Never Sent (1959, Kalatozov)
72. Rosemary’s Baby (1968, Polański)
71. M (1931, Lang)

70. The Cranes Are Flying (1957, Kalatozov)
69. Cœur fidèle (1923, Epstein)
68. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004, Gondry)
67. Trouble in Paradise (1932, Lubitsch)
66. The Swimmer (1968, Perry)
65. Shadows in Paradise (1986, Kaurismäki)
64. Nanami: The Inferno of First Love (1968, Hani)
63. The 400 Blows (1959, Truffaut)
62. Vibrator (2003, Hiroki)
61. The Executioner (1963, García Berlanga)

60. Deep End (1970, Skolimowski)
59. The General (1926, Bruckman & Keaton)
58. The Conformist (1926, Bertolucci)
57. Safe (1995, Haynes)
56. Woman in the Dunes (1964, Teshigahara)
55. Linda Linda Linda (2005, Yamashita)
54. Flowing (1956, Naruse)
53. Tokyo Twilight (1957, Ozu)
52. (1963, Fellini)
51. Branded to Kill (1967, Suzuki)

50. Zorns Lemma (1970, Frampton)
49. Reconstruction (1968, Pintilie)
48. Eros + Massacre (1969, Yoshida)
47. The Days Between (2001, Speth)
46. Opening Night (1977, Cassavetes)
45. Ménilmontant (1926, Kirsanoff)
44. The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972, Fassbinder)
43. Japanese Summer: Double Suicide (1967, Ōshima)
42. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946, Capra)
41. Pierrot le fou (1965, Godard)

40. Profound Desires of the Gods (1968, Imamura)
39. Le jour se lève (1939, Carné)
38. Blue Velvet (1986, Lynch)
37. The Set-Up (1949, Wise)
36. The Spirit of the Beehive (1973, Erice)
35. Nighthawks (1978, Peck)
34. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992, Lynch)
33. Wake in Fright (1971, Kotcheff)
32. Straits of Hunger (1965, Uchida)
31. Floating Weeds (1959, Ozu)

30. That Obscure Object of Desire (1977, Buñuel)
29. Taxi Driver (1976, Scorsese)
28. Death by Hanging (1968, Ōshima)
27. Peppermint Candy (1999, Lee)
26. Children of Paradise (1945, Carné)
25. Diary of a Country Priest (1951, Bresson)
24. Caché (2005, Haneke)
23. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975, Akerman)
22. L’Atalante (1934, Vigo)
21. Yearning (1964, Naruse)

20. A Man Escaped (1956, Bresson)
19. Mulholland Dr. (2001, Lynch)
18. Apocalypse Now (1979, Coppola)
17. Kiss Me Deadly (1955, Aldrich)
16. The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes (1971, Brakhage)
15. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928, Dreyer)
14. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943, Powell & Pressburger)
13. Nashville (1975, Altman)
12. El sol del membrillo (1992, Erice)
11. Showgirls (1995, Verhoeven)

10. Sans soleil (1983, Marker)
9. Naked (1993, Leigh)
8. Nights of Cabira (1957, Fellini)
7. Au hasard Balthazar (1966, Bresson)
6. Maboroshi no hikari (1995, Kore-eda)
5. The Asthenic Syndrome (1989, Muratova)
4. Céline and Julie Go Boating (1974, Rivette)
3. Persona (1966, Bergman)
2. L’avventura (1960, Antonioni)
1. An Autumn Afternoon (1962, Ozu)

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Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:36 pm
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Seen any other Zulawski?


Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:24 pm
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186 Paisà (1946, Rossellini) D

:(

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Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:38 pm
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Easy A is just the worst.


Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:53 pm
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snape!

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Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:19 pm
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163 The Prowler (1951, Losey) C+
166 Fat City (1972, Huston) C

:(

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Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:10 am
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Epistemophobia wrote:
Seen any other Zulawski?


This was my first. I was kind of put off by that tenor of hysteria at first but by the end I found its commentary on our inability to accept imperfection in our loved ones - via tentacle sex and alien replicant metaphors - quite touching.

Re: Paisà, I loathe Rossellini! What a homophobic, misogynistic, opportunistic asshole and it shows in his films! I think I give Germany a 'B' on the cleverness of its camera movement alone, and that film has some truly squirmy sexual politics as well.

And yeah, its shocking how incompetent Easy A is. I actually don't think I found it funny once, and the slutshaming aspect of it is just a bit squirm - kudos to Emma Stone though for soldiering through, she's talented even if here she's given the worst material ever.

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Most Beautiful Island / Asensio
* Japanese Girls Never Die / Matsui
* Birth Certificate / Różewicz
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Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:30 am
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i'm w/ you on Rosselini, snapz

see more Zulawski! he's amazing


Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:43 am
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wigwam wrote:
i'm w/ you on Rosselini, snapz

see more Zulawski! he's amazing


Zulawski is one of those Maverick-w/-a-capital-M directors - eg Greenaway, Chytilova, Masumura - who didn't bowl me over on first impression. I've accumulated a fair bit of his stuff over the years though so he's definitely on my queue.

While I'm at it:

The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964, Pasolini) Grade C+

Sans soleil (1983, Marker) Grade A+

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Most Beautiful Island / Asensio
* Japanese Girls Never Die / Matsui
* Birth Certificate / Różewicz
Bush Mama / Gerima
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Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:52 am
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RE - Rossellini ... I remember having a personal "yeahhhh" moment when reading in Ingrid Bergman about his homophobia (he tried to prevent her from acting in Tea & Sympathy on stage because of its content, and refused to let their son go to boarding school because he was worried about homosexual indoctrination) and finally getting proof to satisfy my suspicion that he was a horrible person.

Pretty queasy, too, how he made the very FUBU Rome, Open City like, a years after directing propaganda films for the fascists.

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Most Beautiful Island / Asensio
* Japanese Girls Never Die / Matsui
* Birth Certificate / Różewicz
Bush Mama / Gerima
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Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:54 am
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I didn't know that about him, and while I generalize Italians as fascist-catholic rapists anyway, I don't think homophobes or hypocrites can't direct well, but in his case he certainly cannot

also, I've never been moved by any Italian neorealist stuff anyways, whenever Italian directors do good work (the 4 or 5 instances) it's always after they got that nonsense out of their system


Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:35 am
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Yeah, neorealism as a genre has never clicked with me. I did a bit of a marathon earlier in the year and - notwithstanding the ingrained Italian madonna/whore misogyny - the only ones I can say I enjoyed were closer to melodrama (Ossessione, Shoeshine).

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The Tales of Beatrix Potter / Mills
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Times and Winds / Erdem
Most Beautiful Island / Asensio
* Japanese Girls Never Die / Matsui
* Birth Certificate / Różewicz
Bush Mama / Gerima
** Paris Is Burning / Livingston


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Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:20 am
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How can you both be so wrong? I'll disregard your casual dismissal of an entire (and very essential) movement in cinema history, but I'll not have you bad-mouthing Rossellini, who was an excellent filmmaker. And what of it, if he was misogynistic and homophobic? You talk like you hold some grudge against the guy, as if he personally wronged you. He hasn't. He's been dead for ages. Not to speak for him, but Trip is gay and he still has the capacity to appreciate Rossellini. Are you just generally indignant? To what end? How do you benefit? Frankly, I find that the problematic sexual politics in his films make them even more interesting to watch, for the same reason I find Triumph of the Will or Birth of a Nation so fascinating: these films give me insight into a perspective I don't possess. I love the clash of great craftsmanship with attitudes which don't mesh with my own. Watching a film by a filmmaker without flaws would be like eating food without flavor.

In any case, to focus on these flaws is to ignore everything else in the man. You neglect his humanism, which while imperfect, is still strong and powerfully sincere. You ignore not only his art, but the people he collaborated with, who knew his work, those who loved and admired him. You are guilty of exactly what he was guilty of: ignoring the whole of a person in favor of a fragment. Where does that get you, but mired in prejudices which will rob you of the opportunity to develop an appreciation for these films?

You'll have to excuse the outburst, but very little bothers me more than willful ignorance posturing as moral superiority.

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Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:54 am
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I dismiss him as a filmmaker based on films he's made: the war trilogy and Flowers of St Francis, which I find to be inept technically and alienating in how monotonously pathetic the characters are meant to be admired as

I dismiss INR as a movement based on the films it's comprised of: Bicycle Thieves, um... those Rosselini's? I Vitelloni? anyway, if it's b&w, in Italian and pre-1960 it is worthless to me

also, dismissing a shit director not for their films but for their however contemporarily-accepted attitudes isn't the same as how those attitudes dismiss people who are born gay, Jewish, female, etc. If anything, a reactionary bias (like snap's) is much more noble than an indoctrinated bias (like RR's) because it's an intellectual choice aimed at another intellectual choice, rather than an intellectual choice aimed at factors a person has no choice over. I don't have to tell you that, right?


Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:37 am
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Boner M wrote:
163 The Prowler (1951, Losey) C+

:(


Yeah, that one and these two really jumped out at me:

148 Jules and Jim (1962, Truffaut) C+
153 The Public Enemy (1931, Wellman) C+

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Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:49 am
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i need to see these:

snapper wrote:
45 Miss Bala (2011, Naranjo) A-
74 All These Women (1964, Bergman) B+
81 Weekend (2011, Haigh) B+
100 The Life of Oharu (1952, Mizoguchi) B



i'm surprised at these grades:

snapper wrote:
18 The Magnificent Ambersons (1942, Welles) A
25 Memories of Underdevelopment (1968, Gutiérrez Alea) A-
50 Paris, Texas (1984, Wenders) A-

123 Possession (1981, Żuławski) B-
166 Fat City (1972, Huston) C
183 X-Men: First Class (2011, Vaughn) C-
185 Albert Nobbs (2011, García) D


Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:58 am
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Macrology wrote:
How can you both be so wrong? I'll disregard your casual dismissal of an entire (and very essential) movement in cinema history, but I'll not have you bad-mouthing Rossellini, who was an excellent filmmaker. And what of it, if he was misogynistic and homophobic? You talk like you hold some grudge against the guy, as if he personally wronged you. He hasn't. He's been dead for ages. Not to speak for him, but Trip is gay and he still has the capacity to appreciate Rossellini. Are you just generally indignant? To what end? How do you benefit? Frankly, I find that the problematic sexual politics in his films make them even more interesting to watch, for the same reason I find Triumph of the Will or Birth of a Nation so fascinating: these films give me insight into a perspective I don't possess. I love the clash of great craftsmanship with attitudes which don't mesh with my own. Watching a film by a filmmaker without flaws would be like eating food without flavor.

In any case, to focus on these flaws is to ignore everything else in the man. You neglect his humanism, which while imperfect, is still strong and powerfully sincere. You ignore not only his art, but the people he collaborated with, who knew his work, those who loved and admired him. You are guilty of exactly what he was guilty of: ignoring the whole of a person in favor of a fragment. Where does that get you, but mired in prejudices which will rob you of the opportunity to develop an appreciation for these films?

You'll have to excuse the outburst, but very little bothers me more than willful ignorance posturing as moral superiority.


His sexual politics are not the only reasons that I dislike his neorealist trilogy. Rome, Open City's blend of corny, calculatedly 'charming' comedy and calculatedly 'harrowing' drama never meshes well with me. In all of these films - as well as in Bicycle Thieves which I like more but am still cool on - the director seems to be torn between impulses towards sentimentalising and desentimentalising the drama, so as an audience you're thrust between completely different poles of storytelling in the same scene. This in itself is not a bad thing but I'm not detecting intent here and I find these shifts to be awkwardly done anyway. As for Paisà I just found it dull as dishwater - the vignette structure is a risky one for pacing and Rossellini never makes it engaging or invites identification with its characters (even just as symbols if not as people) and ends every sequence on the same pat emotional notes.

To me an offensive film is worse than a simply 'bad' one and while I can find these films fascinating I'm not going to join in with the "offensive but fantastic" chorus because the fact that it is morally/politically iffy will automatically make it a less-than-fantastic film for me. Not that I reject moral ambiguity or flaws in my films - you're right, they do make them interesting - but if a film that is technically well put together like, LOL, The Help gets graded down considerably for being an impossible political whitewash, then I'm not going to give something like The Birth of a Nation an A despite it being propagating of a, well, evil mindset - regardless of its technical virtuosity. And yes that was a terrible comparison but it is what came to mind.

Directors can be as nasty as they like, but I don't want to be bombarded with hateful messages - sincerely hateful messages - when I actually watch their films. RE: the politics of the Rossellini trilogy I was put off long before I knew anything about him as a person. This is something I wrote earlier in the year:

Quote:
Marcello’s emulation, along with other Roman boys, of the Resistance’s actions and outlook is glorified, as is his gang’s exaggerated play-acting of grown-up gender codes and group politics. Francesco abandons emotional concerns to fight with the Resistance directly after witnessing the killing of his fiancée, who is not mentioned once by Francesco nor Marcello after her death scene.

These men exhibit O’Neil’s archetypal rejection of emotion, hunger for power and control (in this case, political and military power) and established but undemonstrative heterosexuality: Giorgio rebuffs and ignores the sexual attentions of both Marina and Lauretta, Pina’s sister, and Francesco and Pina’s partnership is almost totally neutered. The film’s gender politics only allow its female characters to exhibit either a threatening sexuality, as Marina does, or a submissive devotion to male objectives and honour codes. The latter character conception, typified by the Catholic Pina who makes a sacrifice of values in marrying the non-religious Francesco as well as a physical one in being killed while protesting his arrest, is offered as far more wholesome and desirable. Perhaps the most egregious example of Rome, Open City’s conservatism regarding sexuality and gender is provided by the depiction of the Nazi antagonists. The mincing Major Bergmann and the ‘predatory lesbian’ Ingrid embody caricatures of an ‘unnatural’ homosexuality and a threatening reversal of gender roles. Bergmann’s exaggerated effeminacy is depicted as a natural offshoot of his sociopathy and sadism. The masculine Ingrid’s corrupting ‘lesbian hypnotism’ leads Marina - the sexual and therefore fallible female - toward materialism, implied sexual looseness and treason. This view of sexuality as corrupting, especially of women, and of sexual difference as a cause or symptom of fascism is not restricted to Rome, Open City in Rossellini’s filmography. Paisà depicts sexualised women as ruined women in its characterisation of the good girl-turned-prostitute (played by Maria Michi, who played Marina in Rome). The group of revenant Nazis who facilitate Edmund’s downward spiral in Germany Year Zero are portrayed as a syndicate of lesbian and homosexual paedophiles.


I can't stomach that being presented as The Right Message especially in a film that I already find so uneven. And yes, there were plenty of progressive filmmakers working at the time so it wasn't a generational thing.

Re: Huston and Losey, I've seen a few films from each and have found them all pretty dramatically inert. Just not a fan, I guess. Fat City felt like a jump on the New Hollywood bandwagon rather than an organic, heartfelt thing, and The Prowler just struck me as flat.

Re: Jules and Jim... I can respect the ideas and the intent, but when a director is so afraid of his experimentation speaking for itself that he dresses it up with such a stale classicist affectation as the omniscient VO or the episodic plotting I'm not going to respond well. Plus a subject this volatile deserves to be treated with something more than Truffaut's glossy and shallow 'good taste'... kind of funny that he's guilty of almost all of the 'cinema of quality' trademarks he attacked in Cahiers, just in heightened forms. I'm not the biggest French New Wave fan, a lot of it strikes me as flash with very little flesh on.

The Public Enemy was fun - definitely cool as a document of generic evolution - but I think there's a lot of determinist and sub-Freudian ideas (the latter esp. with the Harlow character) floating around with nowhere to go and no resolution.

And wigwam - Albert Nobbs really? I thought it was truly horrific and I'm shocked that it actually has defenders!

Hee hee the grace period is definitely over innit! But I'm used to having to defend myself.

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* Japanese Girls Never Die / Matsui
* Birth Certificate / Różewicz
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Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:15 am
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snapper wrote:
the director seems to be torn between impulses towards sentimentalising and desentimentalising the drama, so as an audience you're thrust between completely different poles of storytelling in the same scene. This in itself is not a bad thing but I'm not detecting intent here and I find these shifts to be awkwardly done anyway

Strangely enough I wrote something similar recently on Lee Chang-Dong's Peppermint Candy. Have you seen that? Or Lee's other films? (which lend themselves to the same criticisms, but only PC really bothered me)

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Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:18 am
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Boner M wrote:
Strangely enough I wrote something similar recently on Lee Chang-Dong's Peppermint Candy. Have you seen that? Or Lee's other films? (which lend themselves to the same criticisms, but only PC really bothered me)


LOL, Peppermint Candy is actually one of my very favourite films! I can see where you'd get this but I read most Lee films as deconstructed melodramas (esp. in Secret Sunshine and Poetry which are esssentially re-ups of 1940s & 50s Asian women's pictures) and in PC I think moments that would generally be seen as courting an easy emotional reaction (like the comatose-woman-shedding-a-single-tear which tbh I did find a bit too much) are either foregrounded and isolated to the point that they become the focus of active curiosity for the viewer, who is forced to reevaluate their position in context and in the wider narrative system, or they are almost immediately undercut by something really quite traumatic*. But even if deconstructive-melodrama teeters over into actual melodrama with Lee I think he has respect for his characters as something more than broad symbols which cannot really be said for most neoorealist directors. And I guess this gallery-of-symbols approach to character development is kind of the point of a lot of communist cinema but it really turns me off when it is done in such a, yeah, thematically basic and inhibiting way as opposed to the incisiveness and creativity of its employment in an Ozu or Rocha or Oshima film.

* and as for the tonal shifts I felt watching PC that they were 'the point' and I actually found them energising - in something like the Rossellini films they strike me more as shoddy craftsmanship.

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Most Beautiful Island / Asensio
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Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:31 am
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the grade for Tomboy makes me sad

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Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:52 am
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Quote:
also, dismissing a shit director not for their films but for their however contemporarily-accepted attitudes isn't the same as how those attitudes dismiss people who are born gay, Jewish, female, etc. If anything, a reactionary bias (like snap's) is much more noble than an indoctrinated bias (like RR's) because it's an intellectual choice aimed at another intellectual choice, rather than an intellectual choice aimed at factors a person has no choice over. I don't have to tell you that, right?


Clearly one is more repugnant than the other, but the effects on the person who possesses either attitude is the same: the inability to look beyond their prejudices, however "noble" they may be.

I'm not actually a huge supporter of Rossellini, and I have mixed feelings about his films and how they operate. Rome Open City is one of his most problematic films, especially in terms of tone, but it has some powerful and harrowing moments in it. Also, given the time it was made, it had a tremendous impact, and the circumstances of its creation were unusually demanding. Paisà, on the other hand, is an exceptional film -- uneven, with its vignette structure, but some segments elevate the film, and I don't detect the sentimentalizing or pat emotional notes (at least not in all of the vignettes). This is especially true of the final and best segment, which is the purest example of neo-realism that I've seen, the one that comes closest to the impossible idea of replicating reality.

Rossellini is a director I had an initially lukewarm reaction to, but I came around to his work over time, and after reading a great deal. Contextualizing really helps refine an understanding of his films, as his strongest stylistic traits are subtle, and it's easy to give him short shrift given what's come since (in many cases a direct result of his influence). So I sympathize with your mild opinion of him. I just don't want some absurd prejudice against the man himself to prevent anyone from striving to come to a closer understanding of his work. I also apologize for my first post, which was more than a little inflammatory, though I stick to the general notion of what I said.

Snapper, your quotation is interesting, because while it may pre-date any knowledge of Rossellini's personal habits, it's still solely interested in discussing the socio-sexual politics of the film. That's a matter well worth discussing in detail, and its depictions are certainly troublesome -- but it's not the only thing worth discussing, not by a long shot. That's my only concern.

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Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:56 pm
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U.S. DoE would love this thread.

Good taste, however. :D


Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:32 pm
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Less grades, and more thoughts.


Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:32 pm
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RE: this whole conversation..
I guess put in the most blunt of ways, I really don't care if a filmmaker is xenophobic - or morally repulsive, I have a desire for film to get under my skin - and to me, the repulsive, ugly films can be just as good - and powerful as the ones that make sense to me. I'd go so far as to say I have a tendency to enjoy the morally ugly, ethically iffy films more than agreeable ones, certainly one of the reasons I consider filmmakers like Sam Peckinpah among my very favorite directors.

As far as Rosselini goes - I feel like the issue with the films isn't so much his politics, but his often weak, flimsy characters, more often than not, his films feel dramatically insincere - but he certainly had some strong films - I'd consider Paisa and Flowers of St. Francis to be his best works, because in terms of technique, they have none of his typical weaknesses - and formally, I find them interesting, and sincerely humanistic.


Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:42 pm
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snapper wrote:
03 It’s a Wonderful Life (1946, Capra) A+

184 The Birth of a Nation (1915, Griffith) D

This made me puke in my mouth.

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Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:17 pm
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:D

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Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:17 pm
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Macrology wrote:
Snapper, your quotation is interesting, because while it may pre-date any knowledge of Rossellini's personal habits, it's still solely interested in discussing the socio-sexual politics of the film. That's a matter well worth discussing in detail, and its depictions are certainly troublesome -- but it's not the only thing worth discussing, not by a long shot. That's my only concern.


The essay was actually a comparison of models of masculinity in French and Italian realist movements so that was pretty much all I talked about! :P However of the trilogy only Germany clicks with me on a story level and that one is still kind of problematic with regards to sexuality.

Re: Tomboy I really love the overall tone that Sciamma is able to conjure up with this and Water Lilies. The theme she seems most interested in tackling is female display, why women do it and who they do it for. I thought this was explored in greater depth in Lilies whereas in Tomboy she takes nonjudgment to an almost mute extreme. I hope with her next film she is able to find a better balance between restraint and clarity of theme because I really dig the quiet melancholy mood that she's established.

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Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:23 pm
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I think It's a Wonderful Life is beloved for all the wrong reasons. It's terrifying!

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Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:24 pm
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I think that's a more popular view now. The Birth of a Nation is boring.


Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:25 pm
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All this Neorealism hate, man.

Have I outgrown you all?

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Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:13 pm
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
All this Neorealism hate, man.

Have I outgrown you all?

Image

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Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:56 pm
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I'm not a big fan of neorealism either. For me it always seemed to kind of contradict the inherent fantasy of film that I love so much. I appreciated the human drama of a film like Bicycle Thieves, but found it quite dull. I can be fickle though.


Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:03 am
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snapper wrote:
Hee hee the grace period is definitely over innit! But I'm used to having to defend myself.

Corrie grace period only lasts until a new poster expresses an opinion. :D

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Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:14 am
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Von Samuel wrote:
I'm not a big fan of neorealism either. For me it always seemed to kind of contradict the inherent fantasy of film that I love so much. I appreciated the human drama of a film like Bicycle Thieves, but found it quite dull. I can be fickle though.


I think aiming for docurealism is perfectly respectable but most of the "true" neorealist offerings I've seen - that is, ones that aren't commenting on the genre at the same time - are a bit disingenuous in the way they go about it, sappy music, sentimental situations presented as everyday things, the whole 'this is how The People feel' assumption etc.

Bicycle Thieves has actually grown on me a bit but I'm still not the biggest fan - and I don't find it the moving experience so many others do. I wrote this just after seeing it and since then I've found the development of such an unlikeable protagonist in a film like this a lot more interesting:

Quote:
I just saw this for the first time, and I can't say I liked it very much: de Sica does something very interesting by making a 'perseverance of the spirit' story with such an intensely self-involved asshole as a protagonist - the intent here seems to be offering Antonio's basic existence as the most important qualifier of our identification with his struggle. However I think the scope of his obnoxious manchildishness - his laziness in his first appearance on film, the way he roughs up his wife without thinking, his unrepentant harassment of a homeless man and an epileptic youth, his immediate instinct to cut in line (once in front of a crippled man!), his buying a nice meal before whining about money, the careless fraternity of his relationship with his son who falls over without reassurance, is hit, is nearly run over and, it is implied, nearly molested - swings the pendulum back from the social study to the personal, and makes it hard to either carry the metaphor of his plight over to an entire class or assume that stealing a bike is something he would resort to only after such an apparently violent internal conflict. I respect de Sica's resistance of 'nobility of the poor' tropes, but there is still an icky sentimentality in his insistence on such lacrimose scoring behind Maria and Antonio's rapturous discussion of wages (catering directly to wet-eyed middle-class audiences' sense of pity upon hearing someone describe such a meagre sum as if it were a fortune) or the camera's readiness to pick up 'incidental' moments of Enzo Staiola cuteness.

I think I prefer something like Miracle in Milan, where de Sica's warring impulses to cynicise sentimentality and to give it free rein are given an appropriate outlet in fantasy.

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Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:15 am
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snapper wrote:

I think aiming for docurealism is perfectly respectable but most of the "true" neorealist offerings I've seen - that is, ones that aren't commenting on the genre at the same time - are a bit disingenuous in the way they go about it, sappy music, sentimental situations presented as everyday things, the whole 'this is how The People feel' assumption etc.

Bicycle Thieves has actually grown on me a bit but I'm still not the biggest fan - and I don't find it the moving experience so many others do. I wrote this just after seeing it and since then I've found the development of such an unlikeable protagonist in a film like this a lot more interesting:



The sappy sentimentality you describe is precisely why I don't particularly like it too. Either give me a very stark and unbiased depiction of human drama, or give me the sentimentality and melodrama. It does, as you say, feel disingenuous, to try to play both fields.

However, I like the fact that Antonio is such a flawed person. The juxtaposition between his noble plight, and his ugly character was much more interesting to me than anything else in the film.

My feelings can certainly change on neorealism upon seeing more films.


Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:35 am
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I prefer Umberto D., if only for that cute ass dog.

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Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:20 am
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snapper wrote:
I think It's a Wonderful Life is beloved for all the wrong reasons. It's terrifying!

:fresh:

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Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:31 am
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I'm a fan of acting so I'm rounding up the best performances I've seen so far from this year's haul and writing up an explanation of my choices for each of the 'Academy' categories. Here's my 'Best Actor':

Anders Danielsen Lie, Oslo, August 31st
Robert De Niro, Raging Bull
* Jean Gabin, Le jour se lève
Nino Manfredi, The Executioner
Robert Ryan, The Set-Up

Runner-Ups:
Joseph Cotten, Shadow of a Doubt
Jean Gabin, Port of Shadows
Hossain Sabzian, Close-Up
James Stewart, It’s a Wonderful Life
Geymond Vital, Rapt

Watching Oslo, August 31st, you get the impression - this is not a complaint - that the actors have been workshopped to death. Thankfully the director, Joachim Trier, clearly has the sensitivity not to micromanage or restrict his lead’s creative space: the film could not succeed a quarter as well as it does without Danielsen Lie’s performance, which is perfectly calibrated and complex yet effortlessly, organically empathetic. He understands pause, the rhythm of body language and the cracks in conversation through which you can see the depth of a character’s history, and he has the grace to make Anders less than entirely sympathetic; he gives us clues as to how and why he went astray without telegraphing it.

I find the fanboy cult-claiming of De Niro’s 70s and 80s films with Scorsese to be pretty curious considering how deeply critical of masculinity they are. And De Niro is definitely sensitive to these critiques: his Jake La Motta bristles with the frustration born of a repression of those things incompatible with the gender structure in which he entraps himself. The homoerotic (and incestuous) subtext is powerful for its sheer boldness, but it would come off as superficial and obvious without De Niro’s skilful underplaying (and I know I expected him to play in a much higher key when I popped in the DVD).

It is shocking that Nino Manfredi was in his early 40s when he made this film with Luis García Berlanga because he captures that spirit of late-20s arrested development so well. His character is always out of his depth, but he gives his portrayal a nervy energy that creates an impression of potential strength and fortitude. He becomes an unlikely hero - which is part of the film’s charm (and depth: see the way the camera roams in search of a protagonist for the first ten minutes) - and has the necessary comic timing to pull off crackling LGB dialogue without letting it slide into mere farce.

The Set-Up is my biggest cinematic surprise of the year, one of the most purely evocative expressions of physical and existential pain I’ve ever seen, coming from the ultimate auteurist’s disappointment, the director of The Sound of Music. While Wise’s expert direction takes the lead here, this is still definitely a tango and Ryan is indispensable: doing more ‘acting’ in ‘reacting’ than any actor of his generation, he is the creative force that provides character when the film form itself is more concerned with the physical and emotional politics of event. And it is to Ryan’s credit that we don’t end up with a type, the ‘good guy’ - Stoker is a bit mean, a bunch stubborn; he’s always on the edge of something that we’re never quite given access to. Its this mystery and ambiguity that makes this film hurt.

My winner for the year, however, is Jean Gabin. I have seen four Gabin films so far this year and he is quickly becoming one of my favourite actors. A great movie star, he clearly had the intelligence to do what a great movie star should do, which is to deconstruct that which is supposed to define ‘movie stars’. His ‘sensitive brute’ is an intriguing creation, an assimilation of a female character model into a new, positivised conception of masculinity. This character type seems to have been invented by Gabin - while it was clearly finessed by Carné and Prévert it appears to date back to far earlier in his career, and in each film he unwraps another layer of it. This isn’t to say he simply coasts on a unique persona, because Gabin was a real actor, albeit never a ‘technique-y’ one: his eyes, his gentle saunter, the rise and fall of tension in his shoulders and the sense of an escaping gasp from the weight of a world pressing down every time he raises his voice... These are the keys to his exquisitely real romantic in Le jour se lève and the tones that give such distinct character to variations on the same theme. His work in these films assume colours poles apart, but they are bound together, like a rainbow.

My honorable mentions go to Joseph Cotten for his poisonous cynicism, blacker and more twisted than anything you’ll find in any other Hollywood film of this time, Jean Gabin again for “Embrasse-moi... vite” and another remarkable exploration of feeling in a character type not usually allowed such revealing treatment, Hossain Sabzian for “playing” “himself” with such humour, sadness and, hmm, truth? - James Stewart for the way his smile becomes a grimace, and for the depths of terror he reaches in Life’s darker moments (and continues to evoke in its lighter ones), and Geymond Vital for a one-of-a-kind portrait of an unwittingly destructive manchild, sensitive like the Gabin characters but to purely instinctual forces rather than introspective ones.

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Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:18 pm
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I like Robert Ryan. He's fantastic in Act of Violence.

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Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:20 pm
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Love him, he's one of those actors that can do so much while appearing to do so little.

With all the Ozu talk going on, here's an essay I wrote comparing Ozu and Oshima.

Superficially, the works of the Japanese directors Yasujirō Ozu and Nagisa Ōshima present dramatically divergent depictions of postwar Japanese life. Their respective catalogues could hardly be more formally dissimilar, and the narrative concerns of their 1950s and 1960s work stand in stark contrast. It seems difficult at first to reconcile the reticent family dramas of Ozu’s 1950s with the fuming polemics of Ōshima’s 1960s. However, the striking differences in style and content between the two belie a common thematic concern with, and attitude towards, postwar changes in Japanese social values.

The structural-formal disjunctions of the two directors’ approach to filmmaking are immediately noticeable, and they are present at the most foundational, grammatical level. Yasujirō Ozu is known for his framing, shooting from a low camera height often erroneously described as emulating the eyeline of a person sitting on a tatami mat (in actuality the placement is far lower). His mise-en-scène is obsessively controlled, with lines and grids leitmotifs that echo the criss-crossing relationships of the extended families he depicts in his sober, quiet domestic dramas. Although there are rare instances of dolly motion in his œuvre (in his later work best exemplified by The Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice (1952)), Ozu predominantly worked with long, static shots that exploited depth of frame through the careful position of furniture, hallways and doors. Punctuating his films are his trademark ‘pillow shots’, cutaways which move away from nearby action to focus on narratively unrelated objects or settings. His editing is generally simple, hard cuts occasionally spiced with dissolves or fades. Ōshima also used long takes but in them developed complex sequence shots with highly sophisticated camerawork and a use of space reminiscent of avant-garde theatre directors such as Brecht. His editing is flamboyant, playing with kaleidoscopic crossfades (Pleasures of the Flesh (1965)), hidden dissolves (Night and Fog in Japan (1960) and The Christian Revolt (1962)) and occasionally sojourning into still-photo montages and documentary sequences (Death by Hanging (1968)). The mise-en-scène of his pictures is often stark, his sets sparely dressed unless necessitated by story to be cluttered - as in the case of the squalid gangsters’ hovels in The Sun’s Burial (1960). Circular shape and motion permeate his films, often manifesting in perverse appropriations of the Japanese flag, eternal symbol of his dissatisfaction with the state of the state.

These stylistic differences are not indicative of alien thematic interests, however. Ozu and Ōshima are not simply dissimilar; rather they have an antonymous relationship. There is a polarity to their use of cinematic resources, but they are two sides of the same coin in that they basically answer each other in their treatment of specific narrative codes. This analogue goes deeper than mere style - the directors’ historical placement and approaches to production were nearly opposite, too. Yasujirō Ozu made his last feature film in 1962, Nagisa Ōshima made his first in 1959. Ozu worked diligently for the production company Shōchiku for over three decades, making all but three of his features for them, content to cooperate with the studio system. Known for producing shomin-geki, realist dramas of everyday life, it fostered Ōshima as well in his early days as a filmmaker - his debut feature, the relatively classical A Street of Love and Hope (1959), fit quite comfortably in the Shōchiku wheelhouse. Ōshima, however, found the studio environment restrictive and inimical to the confrontational political rhetoric he wanted to explore. His fourth film, the formally experimental cross-examination of protest politics Night and Fog in Japan (1960), was pulled by Shōchiku after four days in theatres. After this Ōshima went freelance and, aside from a last gasp for Toei with the jidai-geki (period piece) The Christian Revolt (1962), it would be years before he directed for another studio.

If Ozu was always a social director and Ōshima a political one, this was evident in the structural specifics of their mid-century work. Ozu’s exploration of shifting values focused on their micro-level, personal and interpersonal effects, whereas Ōshima explored the fallout across wider social strata. Both directors, however, presented social units as microcosms of Japan - in Ozu’s case it was the family, generational divides echoing the tensions of ‘old’ (pre-surrender) and ‘new Japan’. Ōshima, most prominently in films from his early 60s period such as The Sun’s Burial (1960) and Cruel Story of Youth (1960), used the gang or political group, hierarchies and feudal relationships providing similar symbolic definition. In fact, both directors showed a similar fascination with a gallery-style method of character development, where different members of a group represented different approaches or solutions to a social or political issue. This can be seen in early Ōshima pictures from Night and Fog in Japan, where the attendees of a reunion of former student radicals each embody a different facet of the Japanese New Left’s 1950s & 60s political activity, to Death by Hanging, where a committee of officials witnessing an (unrealised) execution index the perspectives of various political and cultural institutions on both capital punishment and the treatment of Korean immigrants in Japan.

Ozu’s use of this method is particularly potent in his penultimate film, 1961’s The End of Summer. The film can function as a compendium of the themes and narrative devices he revisited throughout his career: the process of omiai (arranged marriages) and generational attitudes towards it, death and aging, and the relationships between members of extended families. Here, as in many of his works, he used those themes to explore a nation in social flux, one where the major trauma of the war had created a potentially impassable divide between old and young generations. In the film Manbei Kohayagawa, the widowered owner of an ailing Kyoto sake brewery and father of three - possibly four - daughters, tries to balance the rehabilitation of his business with a (re)blooming relationship with an old flame who lives in Osaka. He lives with his eldest daughter, Fumiko, her husband and their children. His second daughter, Akiko, and his youngest Noriko live together in Osaka, the former a curator at an art gallery and the latter a secretary. Akiko is the widow of an intellectual and she has a young son. Manbei organises omiai interviews for both Akiko and Noriko, and their ambivalent responses to these proposals create conflict within the family. His ex-lover Sasaki has a daughter, Yuriko, who she casually refers to as Manbei’s child although exchanges late in the film indicate this may not be the case. Yuriko is Westernised and materialistic, begging Manbei to buy her expensive furs and heading out every night with a different American beau. The key to The End of Summer’s social observation lies in the way it develops the four daughter characters as avatars of the tradition-modernity dialectic, presenting each as symbolic of a different sociocultural path Japan could take.

Fumiko, the eldest and most conservative of the girls, takes care of her father as well as her husband and sons. She is irked by his “libertine” behaviour and takes offense to his not-so-secret daily trips to Osaka. Ozu offers her as a vision of a ‘potential Japan’ that embraces its tradition and upholds ancient values, perhaps naïvely in the face of globalisation and widespread social change. Akiko, the intellectual’s widow, blends a sensitivity to the ‘family values’ of the past (she was married and is raising a son) with an openness to modern thought and value systems (she works at an art gallery that shows international pieces). Noriko, the youngest, shares more than a name with the Noriko of Ozu’s most famous films - Late Spring (1949), Early Summer (1951) and Tokyo Story (1953). Like that Noriko (who was played by Setsuko Hara, the actress playing the Akiko role in this film), she is free-spirited compared to her elders, more attuned to the viability of Western relationship models and more skeptical regarding omiai and its efficacy in providing long-term stability and satisfaction. In The End of Summer she rejects the marriage interview despite claiming to have been charmed by the suitor, and at the end of the film leaves for faraway Sapporo, following the former boss with whom she had fallen in love. The Japan embodied by Noriko forges its own path in the world, leaving old ways of thinking behind and staying detached from custom (Noriko is the only ‘legitimate’ daughter who is seen wearing Western clothing) while retaining a respect for it and its history. The character of Yuriko is a surprisingly cynical creation, her possible illegitimacy a clever shorthand for the intergenerational relationships of the social movement she represents. She is decked out like Sandra Dee, stepping out with a different American every night and, upon Manbei’s eventual death, not mourning him but rather mourning the prospect of a free mink stole. She is the epitome of the Westernised Japan, rejecting tradition completely and moving with a smile towards the culture responsible for both her destruction and her genesis. The picture ends on an ominous note, focusing on Manbei’s grave, flanked by crows. Here Japan is left without guidance from the ‘old guard’: the girls, and the country, have been left at a junction and it is up to them to create their own future. It is a quiet but powerful ending, like so many of Ozu’s, the smoke from the crematorium chimney recalling Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s mushroom clouds and throwing the necessity of this cultural ‘future-claiming’ into deeper relief.

If Ozu saw conservative characters like Fumiko or Manbei - defensive of omiai despite his ‘bad behaviour’ in Osaka - as products of their cultural environment and therefore free from judgment, Ōshima saw his characters as products of their environment, but to be held accountable anyway. His films are defined by their anger, his political rage powerful enough to cleave the structure of the film itself, as in the black comedies Death by Hanging and Three Resurrected Drunkards (1968), where the need to take the nation to task crystallises in grand subversions of narrative temporality (a sublimation into dream logic in the former, a shot-by-shot repetition in the latter). While Ozu was elegiac in his treatment of fading tradition, evoking that quintessentially Japanese feeling of mono no aware, or a sensitivity to transience, Ōshima was much the opposite. His rejection of tradition approaches full-blown futurism; he looks at custom as a toxic force that is nothing more than a relic of Japan’s imperialist past. This view of tradition as a destructive social malaise shapes the central conceit of his 1971 film The Ceremony. Here a sprawling upper-crust family, riddled with sins secret and not-so-secret, is placed under a microscope. Their history is told in a vignettish flashback structure that focuses on their meetings during important ceremonies such as weddings and funerals. The wanton behaviour of the characters is weighed against the reverent attention they give ritual, and the compulsion of the Japanese family to mediate its relationships with meaningless ceremony is given as both cause and evidence of its decline and increasing powerlessness. In the film’s most famous sequence, a groom is stood up at the altar. However, his elders force him to go through with the ceremony anyway, ‘marrying’ nothing but thin air.

Ōshima and Ozu shared a focus on dysfunctional adult-youth relationships. A scan of Ozu’s films reveals a recurrent theme of conditional relationships across generational divides. In Early Summer a grandfather gives his grandson a biscuit every time he says “I love you”. When he finally withholds a treat the child says “I hate you”. In one of his few late comedies, Ohayō (1959), two boys take a vow of silence, refusing to break it until their parents buy them a television. In both of these instances these relationships are presented in a humourous context, but Ozu’s focus on these kinds of conditional bonds implies issue taken with traditional Japanese relationship models, regardless of the respect he has for the culture’s custom and ritual. The fact that most of these depictions involve children implies a prediction of even greater disconnection from social history in the upcoming generation. Ōshima’s depiction of the generational divide was far grimmer, painting Japanese youth as locked in a vicious, often violent, cycle of exploitation and rebellion with their elders. In the film that first earned him critical kudos in Japan, his sophomore effort Cruel Story of Youth, the waifish lead character prostitutes herself out to lonely salarymen before letting her boyfriend/abuser/pimp - in Ōshima’s universe such criteria of identity are never mutually exclusive - beat and rob them. Perhaps most revealing is the depiction of the slum in The Sun’s Burial, where youth gangs rule while the elderly are trapped in their own corrosive patterns of prostitution - of flesh, of skill, of identity - and extortion. These patterns are tellingly defended by one character, an aged war veteran who demands to be addressed by his military title and rejects, out of a sense of entitled imperialist machismo, any culpability for his rapes and thieveries.

Those two films were marketable by virtue of their superficial affiliation with the “sun tribe” genre - a popular wave of films focusing on rebellious youth. At the same time, however, they form a deconstruction and indictment of that genre. Ōshima makes it clear that to romanticise the plight of such wayward youth is to push them further away from the promise of effective political agency. He illustrates a generation disenfranchised by poverty, misplaced government interest and war, trying desperately to reconcile their aimless existence with the ghosts of an imperialist history. The boys do this through the pantomime of ancient - and violent - representations of Japanese masculinity: the samurai, the yakuza and the soldier. They form gangs out of a shared sense of alienation, killing and beating without thought because even their own lives mean nothing to them. For the girls this can manifest as a grotesque geishaesque subservience, epitomised by the Makoto character in Cruel Story of Youth who, in a scene that summarises her entire narrative arc, is pushed onto the dance floor by her lover-abuser and is shoved between him and several other men, spinning and wagging her hips confusedly all the while. This confusion of pleasure and pain and of role and personality is met from the opposite direction by the Hanako character in The Sun’s Burial, a misanthrope who disdains her sex completely, using it to get what she wants but seemingly less bothered by the fact of her father’s sexual harassment than by the fact that he’s doing it while she’s trying to sleep. The films have a lot in common in the way they approach the ‘youth film’ model, but it is both powerful evidence of the generation’s dual ‘death drive’ for both destruction and self-destruction and a testament to the feminism inherent in Ōshima’s work that he can at the same time let Makoto be the weakest character in Cruel Story and Hanako the strongest in Burial.

Ozu’s similar concern for women and youth was just as pointed thematically if not dramatically. While his films are often said in the West to be “typically Japanese” in style and point-of-view , it is undeniable that he balances a respect for the culture and its fallibility with a protesting voice directed towards the rigid social structures handed down from the old to the young. His disdain for omiai is clear, and there is a bitter edge to the recurring images of history in his films. As in Floating Weeds (1959) the motif of traditional theatre becomes shorthand for the futility of the ways in which contemporary Japan tries to connect with its old self. Traditional theatre makes appearances in many late Ozu films - Late Spring and The Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice among them - but here its symbolic potential was most wholly realised. A troupe of actors, dressed in historical garb, visit a seaside village of particular importance to their master actor. Here he left a lover and a son, the latter now a young man but still in the dark as to the truth about his relationship with the man he only knows as his uncle. The actor kept his paternity a secret out of paranoia regarding arbitrary class distinctions of which the young man knows little and about which he cares even less. The village is rural, but many of its inhabitants wear Western clothes, contrasted with the complex ceremonial getups of the visiting performers. Their material is antique; their repertoire has remained unchanged for years. There is a sense that they are out of their depth here, that their representations (and re-presentations) of history are unwelcome or at least not commanding of the same respect as they were ten years before, directly after the war - the last time they had visited the town. A line is drawn between the compulsive engagement in ritual, lampooned so viciously by Ōshima in The Ceremony, and acting - offered as the only way in which Japan can now replicate its past. In this way the desperate maintenance of tradition is not genuine, but as put on and routine as the performances of the itinerant troupe.

Viewing Nagisa Ōshima and Yasujirō Ozu side-by-side is disorienting. The differences are striking but the similarities almost more so. In their first and final decades, respectively, they had ideas to spare - Ozu made 12 feature films in the 50s, and in the 60s Ōshima made a whopping 14. The fallout of the war and the surrender casts a shadow across most, if not all, of their films from this time, and its influence unifies thematic concerns for these directors. Ōshima, who was a critic before moving into directing, hated the “premodern” humanist cinema of 1940s and 1950s Japan and would have seen Ozu as emblematic of the nostalgic cultural fixations he despised. As for Ozu, one can’t imagine the famously reserved director easily warming to Ōshima’s particular brand of furious formal and narrative radicalism. However, despite the yin-yang of their formal approaches, an examination of their responses to the changes in Japanese value systems after WWII shows that there is plenty of each in the other.

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Latest notable first-time viewings:

* The Sun in a Net / Uher
** The Seashell and the Clergyman / Dulac
The Tales of Beatrix Potter / Mills
* A Flood in Ba'ath Country / Amiralay
Times and Winds / Erdem
Most Beautiful Island / Asensio
* Japanese Girls Never Die / Matsui
* Birth Certificate / Różewicz
Bush Mama / Gerima
** Paris Is Burning / Livingston


TWEET1 | TWEET2 | FACE | BOXD | TUMBL1 | TUMBL2


Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:28 pm
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Great piece, just skimming. Will give it a deeper read eventually. The End of Summer is very nearly my favorite film, though. <3

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In a word, I think that, far from favoring directors’ formal inventiveness, widescreen, instead, stifles it. It is, I’m more and more persuaded, if not the only, at least the main culprit for the expressive poverty of the image today. - Eric Rohmer
Vimeo / / / Flickr


Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:41 pm
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B-Side wrote:
I like Robert Ryan. He's fantastic in Act of Violence.


And Crossfire.

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Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:45 pm
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Gabin is amazing, have you seen La bete humaine yet? Pepe le Moko?


Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:13 pm
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Gabin is hot.

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Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:14 pm
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Of all things, it never occurred to me to complain about "classicist affectation" in Jules and Jim, mostly because those affectations are done in jest and are part of its pseudo, tongue-in-cheek period atmosphere. I'm not sure what's the "volatile subject" that needs to be treated with gravity and utmost respect. Threesomes? Free love? Whether or not Truffaut had conservative "good taste" is an appreciation I cannot make. He's sometimes interesting, often not. Jules and Jim is the best I've seen from him, and its mixture of consciously archaic elements, charmingly "cute" atmosphere, and deceptively poignant, even harrowing emotion does not strike me as discordant. Probably "calculated," but that is another subject that fails to interest me on any level whatsoever.


Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:47 pm
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wigwam wrote:
I didn't know that about him, and while I generalize Italians as fascist-catholic rapists anyway, I don't think homophobes or hypocrites can't direct well, but in his case he certainly cannot

also, I've never been moved by any Italian neorealist stuff anyways, whenever Italian directors do good work (the 4 or 5 instances) it's always after they got that nonsense out of their system


What the hell is this retarded post anyways? What's with the rampant anti-Italian tirade? The part about "fascist-catholic rapists" barely even registers as ironic. Actually, I suspect it's sincere. As a passport-carrying Italian, go fuck yourself.


Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:56 pm
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I mean, you actually managed to stir my Italian side. Not even the Euro did that. It's nested really deeply, you understand.


Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:59 pm
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Any other nationalities I don't know about, Beau?


Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm
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Epistemophobia wrote:
Any other nationalities I don't know about, Beau?


They end there, I promise.


Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:06 pm
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How many times has Beau actually been mad on RT/here? Less than a handful? (none?)


Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:07 pm
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