Friday, May 18, 2007

Technical Difficulties II

My apologies for the temporary glitch with the sound. According to the projectionist, the problem was with the sound track on the print and not the equipment. He did a quick sound check after the screening was over and everything is fine for next week.

Speaking of which, we'll be showing an absolutely wonderful film by Yasujiro Ozu. The print is from Criterion and it's brand new, so there shouldn't be any problems.


Blogger Brian said...

I think I actually enjoyed the movie better when the sound wasn't working. That repetetive, overly cheery music wore out its welcome very quickly. I might have missed the sound effects, but the silence helped me appreciate the film's images (complete with lens flare!) like I would a Brakhage film's.

I missed the beginning of your introduction. Did you mention if there were other films like this made in Japan (or anywhere?) at the time? It felt very much like the template for a certain kind of "festival film" that's very common today.

Thanks so much for putting together this series. This was the only evening I was able to make it down from Frisco for. I love Late Autumn at least as much as any other Ozu I've seen, but I don't think I'll be there next Friday. I saw Hogs and Warships for the first time the other night at the Castro, and if it's the same print you're in for quite a treat! Even if it isn't, what a movie...

May 19, 2007 at 12:08 AM  
Blogger Jim Reichert said...

Brian, thanks for the thoughtful comments on the film. I hope you'll be able to make one of the two remaining showings, since they're such great movies.

As far as I know there weren't other film makers in Japan producing works like The Island. But someone in the audience commented after the screening that the film reminded him of the work of Robert Flaherty, who also made documentary-like films. His best known title is Nanook of the North (1922). Like Shindo, Flaherty mixed elements of what we would now call an "art film" with the conventions of the documentary.

Click here to read more about Flaherty.

May 20, 2007 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

We'll see. The free admission is very tempting, but transportation is a big issue. I was able to convince a friend to drive me down Friday but am not sure a repeat performance is likely to be successful. The fact that the PFA is BART-walkable, and that it's playing Imamura films I've never seen before the next two Fridays, makes me guess I'll likely be there instead, no matter how much I'd love to see Late Autumn and Hogs and Warships again.

Interesting that you mention Flaherty. He didn't come to my mind at the screening (having only seen Nanook of the North and Tabu thus far, both a while back), but I noticed his name kept coming up in reviews of the Island I found online afterward. And purely by chance, one of my very favorite film blogs just put up an essay on Man of Aran, a Flaherty film I saw mentioned as a precursor to Shindo's film several time. Now I have to see that one too!

Today at the library I looked up the film in Currents in Japanese Cinema, and though Sato doesn't have much to say about the film, he does note that as a small independent production it served as a "model" for other filmmakers.

I may be reaching too hard here, but I have to wonder if a director like Tarkovsky might have seen it when it played in Moscow. Though his tone and subject matter are far removed from this film, some of the stylistic choices seem similar. I also wonder if some current Asian film festival darlings who use minimal dialogue, from Kim Ki-duk to Tsai Ming-Liang to Apichatpong Weerasethakul, might have consciously or unconsciously assimilated some of Shindo's approach, whether because they'd seen the film or another influenced by it.

May 20, 2007 at 6:16 PM  
Blogger Dr kold_kadavr_ flatliner MD said...

"the more you shall honor Me,
the more I shall bless you"
-the Infant Jesus of Prague

February 4, 2018 at 3:03 PM  

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