Sunday, July 27, 2014

We Will Never Know Their Names, But That's Fine, Too

Whenever you read books or articles on film noir, you encounter expressions like this:

Another influence on the visual style of the films was the development of camera and lighting technology in the late 'thirties: faster film stock, coated lenses (which significantly increased the light transmission) and more powerful lights.

 - 'Film Noir, Introduction', Michael Walker, in "The Book of Film Noir", edited by Ian Cameron, The Continuum Publishing Company, 1992

In fact, almost all literatures I have been reading recently reiterate the same thing: faster film stock, high-speed lens and powerful light. Some critics inserted these lines in the beginning of their writings so that they can go on rumbling about the analysis of film noir stylistics and aesthetics. I started to wonder, what are they? How did they differ from the previous technologies? So I dug a little deeper into this little problem.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Me no Kabe (1958)


[Edit 2014.6.15: Added the trailer for this film at the end of this article.]
Gray fluorescence fills a phone booth as bleakly as gray dusk outside. A pale-faced middle-aged man talks into a receiver in a rather frustrated tone: No, I can't come home tonight. I will be away for a while. How about kids? Are they good? Bye bye. He hangs up the phone. He steps out of the booth into incessant high-pitch noise outside. Above him, the brooding gray sky silently pushes him into the noises of Tokyo. It is the last day of his life.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Meito Bijomaru (1945)


The Museum of the Moving Image (New York) is hosting the Series on Mizoguchi films during this May. The program includes many Mizoguchi's works rarely seen, and one of them is war-time Jidaigeki, Meito Bijomaru (名刀美女丸, 1945).