Direkt zum Hauptbereich

Jôi-uchi: Hairyô tsuma shimatsu / Samurai Rebellion (Masaki Kobayashi, 1967)

A Samurai's son is forced to marry his son to the former mistress of his lord.

I was already fascinated by the title sequence. The succession of images of roofs and shingles were visually mesmerizing and subtly establish one of the underlying themes of the story: Everybody has to stay aligned to tradition to keep the structure intact.

But Mifunes character is stubborn and his fellow Samurai call him that. Although he flatly refuses his lord to wed his son to the dismissed wife of his lord, he is genuinely impressed when he realizes that the couple has taken a liking to each other. He realizes pretty fast that his own life has been full of ambition but devoid of happiness. So again he starts to struggle to make his son's life better than his.

At some point the reason for Mifune's stubbornness becomes moot and he keeps on fighting for a higher ideal: Feelings of even a simple vassal should be honored even by the highest lord. During this quixotic battle he becomes a hero of tragic but nevertheless heartwarming humanity.

This is only the third Kobayashi film I have seen, but it is definitively a masterpiece of Japanese cinema. The camerawork is pragmatic, yet beautiful. He doesn't use Kurosawa-style choreography, except for the fighting scenes, which come late and are over quite fast. Some of the editing decisions seem a bit outdated, but they are still bold and make their point (resorting to still frames, blur cuts, etc)

Kurosawa talks about the structure of the Koh play, which might be something I want to study in more detail. If this film follows this set-up there is a treasure of ideas to be found there.


Kommentare

Beliebte Posts aus diesem Blog

They drive by night (Walsh, 1940) #DTC #161

Two truck-driving brothers dream of a better future and financial independence in a sea of good and bad fortune.

Although the film has all the ingredients of a film noir, like the selfish femme fatale, Bogart, and many night scenes, this is something you could consider a feel-good movie. It pretty much surprised me with its turns and twists and I also wasn't prepared in the least to see Bogart as the sidekick, instead of the lead.

In terms of interesting characters, Ida Lupino as the selfish wife that tries to seduce George Raft's Joe she is definitively at the most intense when she slowly sheds all the layers of sanity towards the end. Although her motives are a bit unclear - the amazing thing about her behavior is that she values love over money. In that perspective the movie feels like a tragedy, as (except for the loan shark) everybody has comparatively sophisticated understanding of emotion and life.

Au revoir les enfants (Louis Malle, 1987)

During second world war the monk running a boarding school for upper-class kids hides Jewish kids.

This highly personal movie is very touching and manages to avoid all the pitfalls of being overly emotional. Music and editing are very subdued and carefully used to underline situations. This makes the story ring true (which it was) and gives the viewer good time to settle into the universe that these kids live in.

There are many quite complicated scenes and I was interested in one particular: When Jean gets invited on parent's day by the mother of his new best friend into a posh restaurant. In that very restaurant there are Nazis at one side of the room and an elderly Jew sitting on the other side. The table of the family is right inbetween. Many things about France during the war are told during this scene, I'll just try and focus on camera placement.


The focus shifts twice in the scene: From the family table to the French Jew's table  (who I have been told wears the red …

Glory (1989, Edward Zwick)

A young commander in the civil war is asked to recruit and lead the first all-black Confederate battalion into the Civil War.

I am not too interested in details of the American Civil War but the film managed to stir my interest in some ways. I might want to look up the difference in treatment of the many Chinese laborers that were employed in the development of the West and what kind of legacy this particular group of people has to suffer from in contrast to the better-known fate of African-Americans.

There are some interesting scenes in the film. I decide to examine the battle scene in the beginning. It introduces Broderick's character as a naive and brave but inexperienced soldier - a great choice of casting, especially in contrast to the hardened appearance of Washington. According to imdb footage was used from re-enactment groups and intercut with the staged film.

Before the battle scene commences Broderick walks in row of soldiers and talks over the pictures of the gathering…