Tuesday, 1 October 2013

ADAM'S RIB


SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

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1949 - USA (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

DIRECTOR: George Cukor
SCRIPT: Ruth Gordon, Garson Kanin
CINEMATOGRAPHY: George J. Folsey
MUSIC: Miklós Rózsa









Oh how cruel can the Gods of Passing Time be! Oh how ruthless the relativism and changing contexts are! Oh how fresh and provocative, and daring the ADAM'S RIB must have been in 1949. Well, that was a looooong, loooong time ago and today, it isn't. And while it's still a lovely film with superb performances from Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, it simply isn't the film it thinks it is any more. And what's worse, in the world of 2013 it also turned into a bit of a bitterly ironic caricature of its own self. Oh what a cruel, cruel trick has the time played on this film indeed!


Tuesday, 9 July 2013

ACTRESS (a.k.a. CENTER STAGE, YUEN LING-YUK)


SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

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1992 - Hong Kong (Golden Way Films Ltd.)

DIRECTOR: Stanley Kwan
SCRIPT: Peggy Chiao, Tai An-Ping Chiu
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Poon Hang-Sang
MUSIC: Huang Jin Chen









     With this film, I really thought I hit my first serious stumble during this whole book-film-blog project. It's all fun and games when you just go along watching and reviewing films, at your leisure, doing a bit of research here and there, picking your brain and putting it all into words, but there is one, critically essential requirement that simply cannot be bypassed. I need to be able to watch the film first. And in this case it didn't seem to be all that simple. At least at the beginning. Here's what happened:


Wednesday, 27 March 2013

AN ACTOR'S REVENGE (YUKINOJŌ HENGE)


SOURCE: Wikipedia

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1963 - Japan (Daiei Studios)

DIRECTOR: Kon Ichikawa
SCRIPT: Natto Wada, Daisuke Itō
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Setsuo Kobayashi
MUSIC: Masao YakiTamekichi Mochizuki










     Like most proper gaijins, since I've seen a couple of Kurosawa films, went through manga and anime phase in my youth, and at least once in my lifetime bought a pack sushi from Tesco, I consider myself a bit of an expert on Japan. I mean, we've all seen Tom Cruise being the samuraiest of the samurai and we've made jokes about the size of Japanese men's... well, nevermind that, right? Okay, I'm kidding. I have done a bit more than that. I did try to learn Japanese for a little while and I did do some post-diploma Oriental studies. Which (combined) achieved only as much as making me painfully aware how ignorant in this field I had been before and how not much wiser I have become after. So, not an expert then. Still, I had just enough background to know where to go to start digging and believe me, dig you should, because the more you know, the more you will appreciate this unusual and strangely beautiful film. Or just read on. After all, I've done all the hard work already.