The Persistence of Modernity in Japanese Film Scores – Part 3 (J-Horror, Kwaidan and House)

Part 1 Part 2 J-Horror and the Balance of Traditional and Modern Asian Music (House and Kwadian) The term J-Horror is often used within the critical evaluation of modern day Japanese film, usually to denote the success of two low budget horror films; namely Ringu (1998) and Ju-On (2002).  It is somewhat of a misnomer that the genre and its musical practices can be defined … Continue reading The Persistence of Modernity in Japanese Film Scores – Part 3 (J-Horror, Kwaidan and House)

Yasujiro Ozu Collection – The Gangster Films (BFI)

The BFI have done wonders over the last few years in highlighting and promoting the work of Yasujirô Ozu to potential new viewers in the UK.  Their Ozu collection is gradually filling in the many gaps within his work available in Region 2 and he is now perhaps the most represented Japanese director in the Region 2 DVD market outside of Akira Kurosawa.  Ozu’s work … Continue reading Yasujiro Ozu Collection – The Gangster Films (BFI)

The Persistence of Modernity in Japanese Film Scores – Part 1 (Ozu, Tradition and Silent Film)

The Persistence of Modernity in Japanese Film Scores. Introduction The scores and music produced for Japanese cinema highlight a constant change of values within the country; a relationship rarely mirrored so accurately in the cinema of anywhere else.  Whereas the film scores of other countries can be looked at as a product of the trends and studio directions, the evolution and changes found within the … Continue reading The Persistence of Modernity in Japanese Film Scores – Part 1 (Ozu, Tradition and Silent Film)

Kuroneko – Kaneto Shindo (1968)

Despite the horrific elements contained within, Kuroneko is ill served by being pigeon holed into the genre of horror.  The genre as a whole has a huge spectrum of intelligence and allegory but there’s more to Kaneto Shindo’s film than this, quite malleable, label.  It of course gives scares, and Japanese “horror” is well ahead of the western game in terms of sheer scare value but its … Continue reading Kuroneko – Kaneto Shindo (1968)

Onibaba – Kaneto Shindo (1964)

Last week saw the passing away of one of Japan’s greatest and most forward thinking directors to appear in the country’s golden age of cinema.  At the age of 100 Kaneto Shindo was still going strong having only made his last film in 2010 as well as his much overdue retrospective starting at BFI Southbank being mere days later, it seems his life was one … Continue reading Onibaba – Kaneto Shindo (1964)

Tokyo Story – Yasujiro Ozu (1953)

Tokyo Story is one of those films that always comes up in “greatest films ever made” polls and probably always will, yet ask even regular film fans and half have never heard of it never mind it’s genius of a director Yasujiro Ozu. This is a sad case for a film held in such high esteem in critic circles yet it’s a trend that will probably … Continue reading Tokyo Story – Yasujiro Ozu (1953)