Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ich bei Tag und du bei Nacht (1932)

A nightclub waiter and a manicurist share the small apartment room. Though they share the closet, the furniture, even sleep in the same bed, they have never met. Why? He has the room during the day and she the night. They hate each other and complain about other's belongings in their hair all the time. The story gets complicated when they do meet each other and fall in love, without knowing who they are....

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Into Eternity (2010)

A few weeks ago, I read the article in "American Scientist" about how modern humans outnumbered Neanderthals because they enabled efficient hunting using domesticated dogs. Its authors speculate that our ability to domesticate dogs may have to do with our white sclerae (other primates have darker sclerae). Dogs communicate with us through exchange of gazes, among other things, while other primates do not. White sclerae might have enhanced the communication through gazes. Fascinating. 

That was more than 40,000 years ago.

Monday, June 25, 2012

"Bobtail" Reviews

Japanese Bobtail and normal tailed cat. (Wikipedia)

Here, in "Vermillion and One Nights", most of the articles have been long and serialized. It is my habit to write long, big materials, which tend to end up unorganized.

Well, I decided to write those "capsule reviews" more often. Let those be compact and readable. Three paragraphs maximum. Some of the reviews will not be on Japanese cinema, but I will keep repertoire varied and less cinecon oriented.

I decided to call these reviews "bobtail reviews", because "capsule reviews" sound too journalistic and professional. "Bobtail" is as in "Japanese Bobtail", popular cat bleed in U.S. with distinctive short tails (some researchers believe those Japanese Bobtail cats in U.S. are more genetically pure-bred than Japanese domestic cats).

On-going "Films of 1949" will continue, though. Next up is about sexual revolution.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Someone Who Looks Like Gary Cooper (cont.)

Late Spring

This is part six of "Films of 1949" series (Part 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5).

Nobuyoshi Araki, a renowned photographer and an artist, admires young Setsuko Hara in "Late Spring" in his own particular way. He considers her sturdy build and impressive physique the most “photogenic”, very favorable human (female) features in visual arts. For Hara was uniquely “different” from other actresses of the era in this regard, Araki notes, she radiates her visual presence on the screen tremendously. He comments rather jokingly on the scene in which Hara was readied for wedding in the last of “Late Spring”(1); “It looks like a transvestite show.” True, as placed in traditional Japanese architectural frames, she looks utterly awkward and moves cautiously. This remark reminded me of another metaphorical image; a butterfly grown too big for her cocoon.

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