Sunday, February 27, 2011

Analysis of "There Was A Father", Grayscales

You are the commander in the war zone. Across the valley, the large troop of enemy awaits. You are waiting for the reinforcements, but there is no word from HQ. Then, a wounded messenger arrives with a COPY of the message from HQ. He says the original was destroyed by the fire, but insists that he copied MOST of it. The message reads you should start the frontal attack next morning. Don't worry, the reinforcement will come and air strikes will assist you. But, the massage has lost many words in the course of duplication, smeared with blood, and some of the sentences are incoherent. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Analysis of "There Was A Father", 01:18:00 - End

There Was A Father, Scene 4971

When someone turns away, with his/her back to you, without a word, you might find it difficult to reconnect with that person. Even if it is not a hostile gesture, just an awkward lapse in conversation or meeting, you have to search for effective, proper words to recapture the person's attention. Then, it is all the more difficult if the person is shutting down all the external interaction, retreating into the personal void.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Analysis of "There Was A Father", 01:12:00 - 01:17:59

There Was A Father, Scene 4614

The climax of the film is staged at the father's house. The separation of the father and the son, the loss of their own house and the long arc of their sojourn finally land on the domestic scene however temporary. Through most of their lives, privacy has been a luxury. Here, they have the space of their own where they can discuss their private matters in more joyous note. But, alas, it's only for a brief moment.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Analysis of "There Was A Father", 01:06:00 - 01:11:59

There Was A Father, Scene 4077
Masahiro Shinoda once worked under Ozu as an assistant director (Tokyo Boshoku). During the shooting, there was a sitting cushion placed on the tatami floor in the set, which was never used by any of the characters in the scene. He asked Ozu what was the meaning of that cushion. Ozu invited Shinoda to the view finder of the camera. "What do you see?", he asked. There were lines and lines of tatami edge (hen) covering the lower half of the frame. Ozu did not like the tatami edges invading his composition and the cushion was placed to conceal them.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Analysis of "There Was A Father", 01:00:00 - 01:05:59

There Was A Father, Scene 3561

"Another problem (in cinema direction) is that people stand up and sit down. In western-style rooms, this is not as difficult, since the posture of the person is fairly consistent throughout the movement. But it is problematic in Japanese-style rooms. First of all, when the person stands up (from sitting position on tatami), the center of gravity (of the body) translates in a complex fashion. Then, the vertical size is doubled. But the screen would not be elongated in the vertical axis accordingly."
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