Sunday, May 26, 2013

Another "Yasujiro" in Shochiku


For past weeks, I reviewed two films by Yasujiro Shimazu, THE TRIO'S ENGAGEMENT (1937) and LOVE, BE WITH HUMANITY (1931). I assume his name is not as familiar as another Yasujiro (Ozu) among the readers. Maybe some of you know MY LITTLE NEIGHBOR, YAE (1934), which has circulated among various film festivals around the globe in recent years. Though relatively unknown today, he was the most reliable and professional director during 20s and 30s at the Shochiku and deserves more attention. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

5 Lost Films by 5 Masters of Japanese Cinema

The Title Card for ISO NO GENTA, DAKINE NO NAGADOSU (1932)

Here is the list of lost films by 5 Japanese masters: Shozo Makino, Kenji Mizoguchi, Yasujiro Ozu, Sadao Yamanaka and Akira Kurosawa. I guess you may pick other films, but I will state my case.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Love, Be With Humanity (1931)

Love, Be With Humanity (1931)
Experience in a movie theater is not about the movie itself sometimes. It is about sharing time and space with total strangers. Most of the time, you don't know who this person is sitting in the next seat. Sometimes it's a guy munching on popcorn, sputtering the salver-coated debris whenever he finds something funny on the screen. Sometimes it's an old fat lady who wiggles in the seat uncomfortably whenever a sexually-explicit scene comes up. Of course, there is always a soul who just snores through whole 2 hours of matinée. But somehow we share the time and space, - and anticipation. We buy tickets to be captivated by something extraordinary. And if the movie is a silent film from 1931, directed by a lesser-known figure of Japanese cinema, screened with live piano accompaniment, you have the audience dedicated to the joy of cinematic experience. 
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