In spite of being set in the most cramped of city-based fictional areas, Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954) successfully presents the bustling aesthetics of a whole metropolis while managing to retain an almost claustrophobic isolation. In the film, Hitchcock presents a temporarily wheelchair-bound photographer who becomes obsessed with a neighbour. He suspects the unusual man to have murdered his wife. Rear Window presents a number … Continue reading Sounds of the City – Defining the Metropolis in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954).
It occurred one Saturday afternoon that my own deep and personal mourning for the innocent VHS had found a new low. When describing VHS to people who appear to be gradually younger and younger, it mimics those conversations witnessed with parents, explaining to their I-pod bound offspring what the big black thing is that’s playing a crackly, slightly warped version of Shine on You Crazy … Continue reading Graveyard of the VHS.
Celebrating loss can be a difficult task even for the more optimistic of personas. The idea of someone being physically and emotionally lost is not a pleasant experience which, at best can provide some cathartic character building in between the tears and complete incomprehension as to what exactly it means to live or die. It’s a theme familiar in many filmmaker’s auteur driven, thematic catalogues, … Continue reading Festival (1996) and the Acceptance of Loss – Im Kwon-Taek.
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)
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)
Click for Part 1. Asian Values and Floating Weeds (Music by Saito)[i] Ozu’s later films are perhaps more grounded in the traditions of the Japanese family unit. Their drama comes from an apparent change in value systems (often a systematic change to more western values) or the opposite of this where characters are bound rigidly by Asian tradition and are desperate to escape. The music … Continue reading The Persistance of Modernity in Japanese Film Scores – Part 2 (Ozu’s Floating Weeds)
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)
Every ten years, the most respected and articulate of film magazines, Sight and Sound, runs a poll voted for by the directors and critics of our time for their ten favourite films. This coalesces into a poll of fifty films and yesterday these were announced a long with a live tweet countdown of the apparent top ten greatest films of all time (at least for the next … Continue reading Sight & Sound Film Poll 2012 In Detail.
As a race of individual people, trying to find out where our characteristics came from can be a difficult task. More specifically, trying to deduce whether we gained emotional characteristics on our own or whether they were influenced by outside factors (also meaning that these outside factors have in fact been effected by our emotions and not the other way round) is an almost impossible … Continue reading Film Scores and the Social Construction of Emotions (Kurosawa and Ozu) – Part 1.
The arts in post war Japan took a drastic turn in terms of ideals and beliefs after the defeat at the end of World War Two. With the downfall of the nation being so utterly brutal and the clearness of what the country itself had done being plain for its citizens to see, the arts turned humanist in the extreme. Yasujiro Ozu is the product … Continue reading Late Autumn – Yasujiro Ozu (1960)