Saturday, May 12, 2007

May 12th Log

1931, Jean Renoir, France
Repeat Viewing, DVD

Jean Renoir's La Chienne is a landmark in French film history. While not his first (or even greatest) film, this remains an important early from one of cinema' most influential filmmakers. Renoir's depiction of human behavior and morality is brilliantly executed. Using symbolic imagery and engaging cinematic technique, Renoir captures a rare visionary atmosphere of human and social divide. Quite simply put, Le Chienne is a monumental achievement in cinema. If for nothing else because it introduced one of the truly greatest filmmakers of all-time. Renoir's impact still stands today, and Le Chienne is a film to experience and never forget!

1959, Yasujiro Ozu, Japan
Repeat Viewing, DVD

By 1959 Ozu had converted to making color films, but he refused to fall into the conventions of CinemaScope. Ozu preferred his rare and simplistic filmmaking style. However, with Floating Weeds he did get the legendary Japanese cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa (most known for his work with the great Kenji Mizoguchi) to photograph the film. It remains one of the only post-war films not be shot by Yuuharu Atsuta and also one of the few color films in which the camera moves. Visually the film is stunning and breathtakingly rich and detailed. Floating Weeds is a remake of Ozu's 1934 silent film A Story of Floating Weeds. While the storyline is alike, the biggest difference between the film lies in the tone. Both films handle the melodrama in different ways. Floating Weeds is a compassionate at times visually masterful film. Not everything works here but there are some moments of humor and subtle poetry.

>>> More on Floating Weeds @ A2P Cinema's Yasujiro Ozu website HERE

>>> Here is a clip from the opening moments of Floating Weeds:


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