Friday, February 23, 2007

February 23rd Log

1951, Yasujiro Ozu, Japan
Repeat Viewing, DVD

This is the very first Ozu film I ever saw and it remains among my favorite of all his work. Like many of the films he has made, there is a complex depth underneath the simplicity and lightheartedness. With reflection and repeat viewings Early Summer emerges as one of Ozu’s most emotionally complex and perfectly constructed films as it details the separation of the family through life inevitable changes. Even in its bittersweet sadness, there is a peacefulness to this film that makes it so wonderful. It is unfair or unjust to give general labels to Ozu’s work, but one can not help think of Buddhist philosophy when watching Ozu’s postwar masterpieces. Certainly the idea of ‘'Mono no aware' (or the awareness of the transience of things) comes to mind in Ozu’s films. Early Summer may be one of the greatest expmaples of this. Capturing the family over three contrasting generations, Early Summer is beautiful and moving right up to it's final moments as the camera moves away from the village (with a rare Ozu tracking shot which works with the opening shot of waves to represent the change and the cycle of life).

>> More on Early Summer @ A2P Cinema's Yasujiro Ozu website HERE

>>> Here is a scene from Early Summer.
Is this a moment of 'Mono no aware' from Ozu?:

1968, Sergio Leone, United States / Italy
Repeat Viewing, DVD

The month long celebration of Ennio Morricone leading up to his Honorary Oscar on Sunday may have reached its peak with yesterdays viewing of Days of Heaven and now today’s Once Upon A Time in the West. To me these may be Morricone’s two greatest musical scores, both of which should be considered among the best in film history. Sergio Leone's sprawling "spaghetti western" epic Once Upon a Time In the West will certainly absorb the viewer from the very opening credits. A sequence which lasts over 10 minutes and features very (if any) little dialogue. Like Leone's other epic westerns, Once Upon a Time In the West is a cinematic treat packed with originality and style to generate a truly fun experience. Leone's typical extended takes, and extreme close-ups are evident throughout. The strength of the films lies in the glorious use of wide-screen cinematography. Also, Leone's clever techniques and tension building setups a nothing short of masterful. There are some really fascinating moments that are a joy to watch. Leone is also a master at dealing with irony and this film is no exception. The performances are all strong, and it's particularly interesting seeing the legendary Henry Fonda play against the normal as a villain. And of course the beautiful presence of the stunning Claudia Cardinale. Once Upon a Time In the West is just such a fun film to watch. Leone is a brilliant filmmaker who relies more on emotional feeling then historical accuracy. What results is an absolute epic pleasure!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home