Sunday, April 20, 2014

秋日和 /Late Autumn

Why I Saw This Movie
My Cinephile friend continues to be very enthusiastic about the works of Yasujiro Ozu (W), and some months after he got me to sit through my first Ozu film, Good Morning, he invited me to check out another Ozu film with him. 

The Review
            Ozu reportedly has a very meticulous style which he repeats in film after film, and this film was in many ways similar to the previous film.  A similar plot (a minor domestic situation, which gets focused on in depth to fill up the space of two hours), same highly stylized framing of each shot, and even more or less the same cast as the previous film.
            Therefore everything I had to say about the previous film holds true here as well—it is slow moving, but has a certain amount of charm if you let yourself get into it. 

Other Things I Would Talk About If I Wasn’t Limiting Myself to 100 Words
* This film being only my second foray into Ozu, I’m still trying to figure him out—is he simply chronicling domestic life for the sake of accurately chronicling it (as was reportedly Tolstoy’s purpose in War and Peace), or is he trying to provoke the question: “Are these little things, that everyone spends all their time obsessing over, really all there is to life?”

* The interactions and conversations in Ozu’s films strike me as so typically Japanese that I would be tempted to say anyone who hasn’t lived in Japan can’t fully appreciate Ozu’s movies—or that is I would be tempted to say this, were it not for that fact that my Cinephile friend (and thousands of other Ozu fans around the world) have never lived in Japan, and clearly love Ozu’s movies much more than I do.

Rating :
6 out of 10. (The same rating I gave to the previous Ozu film with the same caveat—more so than most movies, this one really depends on you being in the right mood for it.)

* I found this excellent review of the film while searching on-line.  The author picks up on any number of subtleties about the film I completely missed on my own.  (I didn’t even realize this until I got to the end of the review, but after reading the whole thing I was surprised to find out I actually knew the author.  I don’t know him well, but we travelled in some of the same circles back when I lived in Grand Rapids—The West Michigan Peace and Justice Coalition for example.  I have even linked to him before years back here and here.)

Link(s) of the Day 
The Legacy of 1989, in Two Hemispheres
and from Recent Trends That Make it Hard to Trust the Police

and 50 Shades of Grey or Contemporary Christian Music Lyrics? A Quiz (Via Whisky Prajer).  A hilarious list of Christian Rock lyrics which prove that this old South Park parody (W) was a lot more on the nose than I realized.


angrysoba said...

You may be interested in a blog written by a friend of mine here in Osaka. It's called Hollywood Japan File, and it used to be a column in the now defunct Kansai Time Out.

Wikipedia has a "stub" article on Kansai Time Out that appears to be written by someone who has written the entry in an editorial manner:

Joel said...

I checked the blog out, and it was interesting.

This one really surprised me.

I knew about Pink Lady from my obsession with Japanese oldies

...but I had no idea about a failed variety show in the US. the write up of the column is particularly good and humorous.