From the seemingly effortless opening tracking shot through a middle-class neighborhood that terminates to a shot of two young men practicing baseball pitches in the backyard of their suburban home (and accidentally breaking the window of a neighbor's home), Yasujiro Shimazu illustrates his remarkable agility with the medium in the sublime shomin-geki (home drama), Our Neighbor Miss Yae. Ostensibly chronicling the story of a budding affection for the girl next door, Yaeko (Yumeko Aizome), the film is also a complexly (but gracefully) choreographed portrait of contemporary 1930s Japan, as the two households broach an array of traditional and modern social realities from divorce and extramarital affairs, to a young woman's sexual forthrightness, independence, and virginity. Shimazu's elegant command of narrative and camera is bolstered by the equally strong, natural performances of the actors (most notably, the great character actress, Chouko Iida), resulting in a remarkably fluid and delightfully satisfying slice-of-life portrait of prewar Japan.
This will be the last Class Trip due to waning levels of interest. Still, I'd like to see a few people get involved for this one! This is only 76 minutes long and is available on YouTube:
...as well as on Karagarga. So you guys have no excuse!
Here's the other Class Trips:
#1 - Distant Journey (Radok) - snapper
#2 - Nanami: The Inferno of First Love (Hani) - Das
#3 - The Policewoman (Sapinho) - charulata
#4 - Freeze, Die, Come to Life! (Kanevsky) - Bandy Greensacks
#5 - The Perfume of the Lady in Black (Barilli) - Trip
#6 - Weddings and Babies (Engel) - snapper
#7 - The Man with Three Coffins (Lee) - Notes from Underground
#8 - Malina (Schroeter) - Shieldmaiden
#9 - Bad Luck (Munk) - B-Side
#10 - Girl with a Suitcase (Zurlini) - JediMoonShyne
#11 - The Engagement of Anna (Voulgaris) - Bandy Greensacks