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 Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House 
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Post Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

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The Ball at the Anjo House / 安城家の舞踏会 (1947, Kozaburō Yoshimura)



I've been wanting to see this film for a long time, and this seems like a good avenue to give me some additional motivation.

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Filmed during American postwar occupation, The Ball at Anjo House is a curiously atypical Japanese film that hews eerily closer to the privileged, dysfunctional families and moral abandon of The Magnificent Ambersons or a Douglas Sirk melodrama than a Shochiku middle-class shomin-geki: the proud family patriarch, Tadahiko (Osamu Takizawa) who continues to harbor the illusion that his name will be sufficient to secure credit and save the family mansion from foreclosure; the aimless, playboy son, Masahiko (Masayuki Mori) who seduces a maid with empty promises of marriage and instead, latches on to Yoko (Keiko Tsushima), the daughter of the blackmarketeer, Shinkawa (Masao Shimizu) to whom his father is financially indebted; the prudish daughter Akiko (Yumeko Aizome) who once spurned the affections of the handsome family chauffeur for an ultimately (and scandalously) failed marriage to a socially prominent man; the pragmatic, devoted daughter (Setsuko Hara) who accepts the family's change in fortune and is inspired by the idea of forging a new beginning (and, perhaps, away from the intractable social codes that bind their class). Filmmaker Kozaburo Yoshimura's portrait of the privileged class, scripted by Kaneto Shindo, presents a provocative portrait of the inevitable democratization of class structure - and, more importantly, the chaotic upending of social order - in postwar Japan (as symbolically encapsulated in the physical toppling of the ancestral samurai family armour that is prominently displayed in the main entrance of the estate).


Inspired by The Rules of the Game and The Cherry Orchard, this is considered by quite a few scholars to be the classic of Occupation-Era Japanese film. It was written by Kaneto Shindō before the dawn of his directorial career, and stars Setsuko Hara, being one of her few non-Ozu or Naruse pictures to have some critical cachet in the West. I love movies about the hermetic upper classes coping with the end of their golden ages! Don't you?

Sign on up! You have until Sunday, June 1st to watch the film!

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#3 - The Heart of the Wise Lives in the House of Sorrow (2009, Marin Malešević, Serbia) | Shieldmaiden
#4 - The Forbidden Quest (1993, Peter Delpeut, Netherlands) | kopello
#5 - São Bernardo (1972, Leon Hirszman, Brazil) | Bandy Greensacks
#6 - Evdokia (1971, Alexis Damianos, Greece) | Epistemophobia

Past Trips, Edition 1.0:

#1 - Distant Journey (1949, Alfréd Radok, Czechoslovakia) | snapper
#2 - Nanami: The Inferno of First Love (1968, Susumu Hani, Japan) | Das
#3 - The Policewoman (2003, Joaquim Sapinho, Portugal) | charulata
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#9 - Bad Luck (1960, Andrzej Munk, Poland) | B-Side
#10 - The Girl with the Suitcase (1961, Valerio Zurlini, Italy) | JediMoonShyne
#11 - The Engagement of Anna (1972, Pantelis Voulgaris, Greece) | BandyGreensacks
#12 - Our Neighbor, Miss Yae (1934. Yasujirō Shimazu, Japan) | snapper

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Sun May 18, 2014 6:34 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

Ohhh I think I'll participate in this one.

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"your review shows me only that you dont understand anything about movies and that you are a untalented wanna bee filmmaker with no balls and no understanding what POSTAL is. you dont see courage because you are nothing. and no go to your mum and fuck her …because she cooks for you now since 30 years ..so she deserves it." — Uwe Boll


Sun May 18, 2014 9:18 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

yeahhhhh


Mon May 19, 2014 8:10 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

no one else is interested in this? i hope those who remember my lucky strike with Our Neighbour, Miss Yae jump on this

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* Ordinary Matter / Frampton
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Wed May 21, 2014 1:52 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

I'll get to this eventually, I promise. I haven't had much time for movies lately.

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Thu May 22, 2014 2:32 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

I'll try to watch this, but I can't really guarantee anything. I've barely been watching anything, either.

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Thu May 22, 2014 8:47 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

is there anything specific about may that makes people short on time? the better weather? exam season?

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"your review shows me only that you dont understand anything about movies and that you are a untalented wanna bee filmmaker with no balls and no understanding what POSTAL is. you dont see courage because you are nothing. and no go to your mum and fuck her …because she cooks for you now since 30 years ..so she deserves it." — Uwe Boll


Thu May 22, 2014 8:51 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

i've been replaying Golden Sun: The Lost Age on my old GBA-SP, that's why I haven't been watching much. doubt anyone else has a better excuse

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Latest notable first-time viewings:

* Birth Certificate / Różewicz
Bush Mama / Gerima
** Paris Is Burning / Livingston
The Love Witch / Biller
Edward Hopper / Peck
Les signes / Green
Time and Tide / Hutton
* Ordinary Matter / Frampton
Vertical Features Remake / Greenaway
* Chickens / Amiralay


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Thu May 22, 2014 8:58 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

More work to do, I have a PS4 now, I've been rewatching old favorites on Blu over watching new films (thanks to the PS4), I'm addicted to multiple TV shows, I've been getting out more because the weather's been good, etc., etc.

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Thu May 22, 2014 9:53 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

Don't forget about this!

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Latest notable first-time viewings:

* Birth Certificate / Różewicz
Bush Mama / Gerima
** Paris Is Burning / Livingston
The Love Witch / Biller
Edward Hopper / Peck
Les signes / Green
Time and Tide / Hutton
* Ordinary Matter / Frampton
Vertical Features Remake / Greenaway
* Chickens / Amiralay


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Wed May 28, 2014 5:20 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

watching it now

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Latest notable first-time viewings:

* Birth Certificate / Różewicz
Bush Mama / Gerima
** Paris Is Burning / Livingston
The Love Witch / Biller
Edward Hopper / Peck
Les signes / Green
Time and Tide / Hutton
* Ordinary Matter / Frampton
Vertical Features Remake / Greenaway
* Chickens / Amiralay


TWEET1 | TWEET2 | FACE | BOXD | TUMBL1 | TUMBL2


Thu May 29, 2014 6:29 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

I can tell that none of you have snatched this

_________________
Latest notable first-time viewings:

* Birth Certificate / Różewicz
Bush Mama / Gerima
** Paris Is Burning / Livingston
The Love Witch / Biller
Edward Hopper / Peck
Les signes / Green
Time and Tide / Hutton
* Ordinary Matter / Frampton
Vertical Features Remake / Greenaway
* Chickens / Amiralay


TWEET1 | TWEET2 | FACE | BOXD | TUMBL1 | TUMBL2


Thu May 29, 2014 6:38 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

so this was pretty fuckin good

more tomorrow

_________________
Latest notable first-time viewings:

* Birth Certificate / Różewicz
Bush Mama / Gerima
** Paris Is Burning / Livingston
The Love Witch / Biller
Edward Hopper / Peck
Les signes / Green
Time and Tide / Hutton
* Ordinary Matter / Frampton
Vertical Features Remake / Greenaway
* Chickens / Amiralay


TWEET1 | TWEET2 | FACE | BOXD | TUMBL1 | TUMBL2


Fri May 30, 2014 8:13 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

Sorry, I probably won't get around to this. I'm finding it hard to motivate myself to watch anything right now, and over the weekend I have a lot going on. Hopefully at least a few others participate.

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Sat May 31, 2014 1:39 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

Image

This was a great look at how the bourgeosie deal with the same situations as everyday people who face reality. The family feel self-assured and almost cocky that nothing is going to take away what they feel is their worth, but very soon it becomes apparent that the foundation to their wealth (and what they consider happiness) is weak and footed in imbalance. Yoshimura portrays a shift in post-war society, from the old realist regime to a new liberal dismantlement of the old. While films of the time reflected the underdog's role in a settling after war, the flipping of the script allows us to see the rich as human and personable, who can suffer just as much, but ultimately are still privileged above those of the underclass. The film is just as much a vehicle for Setsuko Hara as it is for the directorial elegance of Yoshimura, bringing along a naivety evident in her Ozu roles. She appears to be the only character with a level-headed approach to her family's situation, attaining a level of strength above the men she is surrounded with. Overall, it's entertaining and drenched in allegory while also sustaining a dramatic lightness that makes it endearing. Probably my favourite film from the Class Trip picks so far outside my own.

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"your review shows me only that you dont understand anything about movies and that you are a untalented wanna bee filmmaker with no balls and no understanding what POSTAL is. you dont see courage because you are nothing. and no go to your mum and fuck her …because she cooks for you now since 30 years ..so she deserves it." — Uwe Boll


Sat May 31, 2014 10:17 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

will write something about this when i'm done killing myself

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Latest notable first-time viewings:

* Birth Certificate / Różewicz
Bush Mama / Gerima
** Paris Is Burning / Livingston
The Love Witch / Biller
Edward Hopper / Peck
Les signes / Green
Time and Tide / Hutton
* Ordinary Matter / Frampton
Vertical Features Remake / Greenaway
* Chickens / Amiralay


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Sat May 31, 2014 1:57 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

if you kill yourself do i get to pick the next one?

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"your review shows me only that you dont understand anything about movies and that you are a untalented wanna bee filmmaker with no balls and no understanding what POSTAL is. you dont see courage because you are nothing. and no go to your mum and fuck her …because she cooks for you now since 30 years ..so she deserves it." — Uwe Boll


Sat May 31, 2014 9:51 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

yep

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Latest notable first-time viewings:

* Birth Certificate / Różewicz
Bush Mama / Gerima
** Paris Is Burning / Livingston
The Love Witch / Biller
Edward Hopper / Peck
Les signes / Green
Time and Tide / Hutton
* Ordinary Matter / Frampton
Vertical Features Remake / Greenaway
* Chickens / Amiralay


TWEET1 | TWEET2 | FACE | BOXD | TUMBL1 | TUMBL2


Sat May 31, 2014 9:56 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

Oh.

But yeah, people should watch this. What other genius stuff are you guys watching that you can't watch this?

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"your review shows me only that you dont understand anything about movies and that you are a untalented wanna bee filmmaker with no balls and no understanding what POSTAL is. you dont see courage because you are nothing. and no go to your mum and fuck her …because she cooks for you now since 30 years ..so she deserves it." — Uwe Boll


Sat May 31, 2014 11:06 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

This will probably be the first time this round I won't be able to watch (and I'll have to skip the next one for sure). About to be in San Diego on vaca in a week and just found out yesterday my wife got a job offer so we'll be moving out of state in the next month so life's just busy atm. This does look good so hopefully I can play catch up in a few weeks once we're settle.

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Sun Jun 01, 2014 7:16 am
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Hmm. I thought this was just OK. It's like Rules of the Game without the games. Even the solid performances can't hide the fact that it's a predictable soup of aristocratic resignation and loyal retainers. The chauffeur's story line is the only one with any punch (and gets the best visual moments, too). But, by the end, it's all terribly preachy. Setsuko Hara deserves to be more than the filmed equivalent of heroic statuary.

Image Image

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Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:33 pm
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I was at first put off by how this appeared to state all of its intentions through dialogue in the first two minutes - but luckily it soon ditches the tell-don't-show tactic and, after that setup, begins tackling its issues and its characters' interactions with real verve and mystery. Even the thorniest situations - such as the aborted rape attempt followed by the proposal intrigue - are handled with panache and a sly cynicism (for example, the servant's tuxedo scene first appearing to be a hopelessly sad metaphor only to morph into something more disturbing as his Uncle Tom-like characteristics are revealed). Setsuko Hara acts as if she's clued in to some grim secret that the rest of the characters aren't, and Yumeko Aizome is a refreshingly bitter pill - Mori's a ham as usual and I wish he played this (quite foul) character as less of an antihero. Osamu Takizawa, with his impossibly sharp features (what an intriguing face for cinema!) wins this game though, regal and sad and almost mystical. That entire ending setpiece, with each of the characters slowly evaporating from the narrative as father and daughter dance that strange waltz, staving off the threat of death and ruin, is arresting and wholly cinematic. And terrific! So glad I picked this and that it blooms the way it does

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Latest notable first-time viewings:

* Birth Certificate / Różewicz
Bush Mama / Gerima
** Paris Is Burning / Livingston
The Love Witch / Biller
Edward Hopper / Peck
Les signes / Green
Time and Tide / Hutton
* Ordinary Matter / Frampton
Vertical Features Remake / Greenaway
* Chickens / Amiralay


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Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:47 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

snapper wrote:
That entire ending setpiece, with each of the characters slowly evaporating from the narrative as father and daughter dance that strange waltz, staving off the threat of death and ruin, is arresting and wholly cinematic.
Or, it would have been, without the sycophantic servants toe-tapping along. Still, it's a good scene, and I agree about Osamu Takizawa. I was engaged all the way, but the heavy-handed ending left a sour taste in my mouth.

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Wonder Woman ▪ The Running Man ▪ Mohabbatein ▪ Veer-Zaara ▪ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ▪ Pierrot le fou ▪ Highway ▪ Leningrad Cowboys Go America ▪ Band Baaja Baaraat ▪ Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi ▪ Jab We Met

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Book Shelf


Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:28 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

who wants to pick the next one? tak?

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Latest notable first-time viewings:

* Birth Certificate / Różewicz
Bush Mama / Gerima
** Paris Is Burning / Livingston
The Love Witch / Biller
Edward Hopper / Peck
Les signes / Green
Time and Tide / Hutton
* Ordinary Matter / Frampton
Vertical Features Remake / Greenaway
* Chickens / Amiralay


TWEET1 | TWEET2 | FACE | BOXD | TUMBL1 | TUMBL2


Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:45 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip #2.7: The Ball at the Anjo House

Sure. Lemme have a look.

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"your review shows me only that you dont understand anything about movies and that you are a untalented wanna bee filmmaker with no balls and no understanding what POSTAL is. you dont see courage because you are nothing. and no go to your mum and fuck her …because she cooks for you now since 30 years ..so she deserves it." — Uwe Boll


Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:39 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Hmm. I thought this was just OK. It's like Rules of the Game without the games. Even the solid performances can't hide the fact that it's a predictable soup of aristocratic resignation and loyal retainers. The chauffeur's story line is the only one with any punch (and gets the best visual moments, too). But, by the end, it's all terribly preachy. Setsuko Hara deserves to be more than the filmed equivalent of heroic statuary.

Late to this, but I agree with most of the above. Though, rather than the social implications of a fallen noble family and questions of class, I think I found more interesting its depiction of the strong, post-war Japanese woman. Setsuko Hara's character is almost depicted as wistful on occasion, but undoubtedly represents the rationality that holds the family together at its seams. She also represents the future of the family, just as she represents the democratic future of Japan - something to look forward to with enthusiasm, or so the film seems to suggest.

Lots of Clément here. The whole "fallen aristocracy" narrative reminded me of other stuff, too: The Music Room and The Magnificent Ambersons...

Image Image

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