This is 110th anniversary of Yasujiro Ozu. Not so many artists receive recognition at the centenary of their birth, even less do at the 110th. But it is good to know that there will be a new generation of audience who will discover his works for the first time in this occasion. During the past months, I saw many books published, magazines running special issues, his prints newly restored, theaters holding Ozu festivals, and Blurays released. But somehow, my interests have faded away. Maybe it is a temporary thing, but I am fed up with this hype. Then I started to hate this anniversary thing after reading some pathetic articles. Sort of.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Sunday, November 24, 2013
|Kinuyo Tanaka and Shuji Sano in HANAKAGO NO UTA (Song of the Flower Basket, 1937)|
The story of HANAKAGO NO UTA ("Song of the Flower Basket", 花籠の歌, 1937) revolves around a pork-cutlet diner along a cluttered back street of Ginza, Tokyo. Keizo (Reikichi Kawamura), the owner and the master of the diner, and his daughter Yoko (Kinuyo Tanaka) are running a small but successful business. The Chinese chef, Mr. Lee (Shin Tokudaiji), cooks the best pork-cutlet, as they say. Two of the most frequent customers are Ono (Shuji Sano) and Hotta (Chishu Ryu), a pair of rather lazy collage students. The story goes into a wicked spiral when Ono is arrested for a murder of a girl he once knew. Yoko becomes frustrated and nervous, while Hotta tries every possible means for his friend's release.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
|FLUNKY, WORK HARD (1931)|
Michael Koresky explains the word 'flunky' from the title of Naruse's silent film as 'a loose translation of koshiben, which denotes a low-wage earner who brings his lunch to work'. I think this is excellent translation to capture the essence of the film in a single word. To help us understand how an insurance agent Okabe would have lived back in 1931, I explore a little bit more.