Friday, August 10, 2007

August 10th Log

1933, Yasujiro Ozu, Japan

1st Viewing, DVD

I FINALLY got to see this Ozu film (all be it on a poor quality DVD)!! Woman of Tokyo is one of Ozu's most emotionally powerful and bleakest films. The story centers around Chikako (played by Yoshiko Okada), a poor woman living with her brother Ryoichi (Ureo Egawa). Chikako supports her brother through his schooling by working as an office typist during the day and secretly as a prostitute at night. When her secret becomes known through gossip, Ryoichi becomes angry and ashamed of Chikako, despite her self sacrifice of supporting him financially. Many have compared this to the films of Kenji Mizoguchi, and while the observation is justified, Woman of Tokyo is essential Ozu in it's style. The beauty of the film is the way Ozu brings it together visually. While there are not as many of his trademark "pillow shots" seen in his later work, here Ozu uses visual patterns to bring the film together on a rhythmic level. Objects (such as socks, teapots, lamp posts, clocks, sinks) become pivotal motifs in the patterns and transitions of scenes, which ultimately create the rhythm of the film. A socially aware examination in Ozu's definitive theme of family separation, as well as an emotionally tragic and compassionate melodrama, Woman of Tokyo leaves it's mark an incredibly powerful work from a master filmmaker.

>>> More on Woman of Tokyo @ A2P Cinema's Yasujiro Ozu website HERE

>>> The opening moments from Woman of Tokyo:

1987, Fred Dekker, United States
Repeat Viewing, DVD

The Monster Squad was a childhood favorite of mine when I was 11 years old. Perhaps its nostalgia, but watching this again it remains a good film to me. Silliness and plot holes aside, there is a fun appeal to this film that makes it still entertaining. Like a blend of The Goonies and Ghostbusters for preteens, The Monster Squad cleverly plays with genres while also recreating some of the classic monster icons (Dracula, Mummy, Wolfman, and of course Frankenstein's Monster). The film is a whole lot of fun even for its goofiness. The Monster Squad can now finally be celebrated on a 2-disc Special Edition DVD, as the films cult fanbase petitioned for the DVD release.


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