Poll

What's your favorite film by Mikio Naruse?

Kimi to wakarete (After Our Separation)
0 (0%)
Yogoto no yume (Each Night I Dream)
0 (0%)
Three Sisters with Maiden Hearts
0 (0%)
Tsuma yo bara no yo ni (Kimiko)
0 (0%)
Hideko, the Bus Conductress
0 (0%)
Uta-andon (The Song Lantern)
0 (0%)
Ginza kesh (Ginza Cosmetics)
0 (0%)
Meshi (Repast)
1 (5.3%)
Okaasan (Mother)
1 (5.3%)
Inazuma (Lightning)
0 (0%)
Ffu (Husband and Wife)
0 (0%)
Ani imto (Older Brother, Younger Sister)
0 (0%)
Yama no oto (The Thunder of the Mountain)
1 (5.3%)
Bangiku (Late Chrysanthemums)
0 (0%)
Ukigumo (Floating Clouds)
0 (0%)
Sh u (Sudden Rain)
0 (0%)
Nagareru (Flowing)
1 (5.3%)
Iwashigumo (Summer Clouds)
0 (0%)
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs
3 (15.8%)
Daughters, Wives and a Mother
0 (0%)
Hourou-ki (A Wanderer's Notebook)
0 (0%)
Midareru (Yearning)
0 (0%)
The Stranger Within a Woman
0 (0%)
Midaregumo (Scattered Clouds)
0 (0%)
other (specify)
0 (0%)
haven't seen any
11 (57.9%)
don't like any
1 (5.3%)

Total Members Voted: 19

Author Topic: Naruse, Mikio  (Read 6231 times)

worm@work

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Re: Naruse Mikio - Director's Best
« Reply #50 on: January 20, 2013, 09:23:56 PM »
Ginza Cosmetics | Naruse | 1951
This feels transitional or something. It's quite unlike his silents and is plotwise similar to When a Woman Ascends the Stairs but doesn't quite reach those heights. Some really lovely scenes like the scene where they're discussing the stars stand out but the rest just feels forgettable somehow. Too early to tell but its possible that I just like silent Naruse better!
« Last Edit: March 03, 2020, 12:57:24 PM by 1SO »

sdedalus

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Re: Naruse Mikio - Director's Best
« Reply #51 on: January 21, 2013, 12:42:21 AM »
I'll be surprised if that opinion holds up after the next few movies.
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worm@work

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Re: Naruse Mikio - Director's Best
« Reply #52 on: January 21, 2013, 01:30:23 PM »
Lightning | Naruse | 1952
This was lovely. Once again, Naruse buries some real dark, despairing stuff underneath what feels like a breezy film. The conflicts are more overt here than in say, Hideko, The Bus Conductress but he constantly deflates these with moments of lightness. One of my favorite scenes in the film is when we see Kiyoko's friend's brother hanging up the laundry and these three young people just get to have this moment of joy and hope. Great film.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2020, 12:57:34 PM by 1SO »

worm@work

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Re: Naruse Mikio - Director's Best
« Reply #53 on: January 22, 2013, 09:51:45 AM »
Older Brother, Younger Sister | Naruse | 1953

I take back what I said about preferring his silents. Lightning and this one are probably my top 2 from him now! This one is likely the most visually striking and assured of all the ones I've seen so far. Just these gorgeous long-shots of the interiors of the house that seem mostly benign but ultimately and gradually reveal so much rage and conflict. Also, this is the first film of his where there's actual violence, I think? And that family tussle towards the end in particular is so great - so meticulous the way every character is framed and moves around. And I love how there are so many interludes to the river in the village especially with that candle festival at the end. And one of the things I keep coming back to with his films is just how resilient his female characters are. That's what makes all these endings so bittersweet. They just smile and go on. Heartbreaking stuff.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2020, 12:57:42 PM by 1SO »

sdedalus

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Re: Naruse Mikio - Director's Best
« Reply #54 on: January 22, 2013, 10:50:34 AM »
I knew it!
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worm@work

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Re: Naruse Mikio - Director's Best
« Reply #55 on: January 22, 2013, 01:48:55 PM »
Repast | Naruse | 1951

I should just stop trying to maintain a ranking for these but this is definitely the one I've had the most emotional response to so far. Firstly, I just already have such an attachment to Setsuko Hara from watching all those Ozu films last year. But I think it's also because Hara's character is much more contemporary and relatable. It's not just socioeconomic circumstances that keep her from happiness but rather that her own desires are inchoate and transient. Her character here reminds me of Sirk's heroines. There's also such detail in capturing life in that suburb - the neighbors, the wife running after the husband who forgot his lunch, the kids playing on the street. And the couple's meeting in Tokyo reminded me of Viaggio in Italia (not necessarily in the interpretation but more in the way it's staged during the parade and happens almost anti-climactically). But more than anything else, the film is all about the sadness lurking in Hara's eyes. Most feelings are ephemeral. Loneliness is all there is :|.

sdedalus, qsn about the ending..

Did you read it as optimistic or ambiguous at all? Am asking because I read a few reviews that seem to think it's hopeful etc. I found it all so unambiguously sad myself. She starts to tell him about the letter she wrote and all he can do is fall asleep :| Everything in that voice-over just reeks of compromise to me. The lies we tell ourselves in order to survive. She doesn't see an alternative but to go back to her life with him. Or maybe I'm just that much of a cynic :(.
 
« Last Edit: March 03, 2020, 12:57:51 PM by 1SO »

sdedalus

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Re: Naruse Mikio - Director's Best
« Reply #56 on: January 22, 2013, 01:58:24 PM »
Yeah, I saw it the same way.
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MartinTeller

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Re: Naruse Mikio - Director's Best
« Reply #57 on: January 22, 2013, 02:03:58 PM »
I know you didn't ask me ( :( ) but I felt the same too.  Definitely more sad than hopeful to me, but there is room for ambiguity.
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worm@work

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Re: Naruse Mikio - Director's Best
« Reply #58 on: January 22, 2013, 02:10:36 PM »
I know you didn't ask me ( :( )
Awww, but thank you so much for responding! I just mentioned sdedalus by name coz I was almost continuing our discussion about the film on twitter a few minutes ago.

Quote from: MartinTeller
Definitely more sad than hopeful to me, but there is room for ambiguity.

It's a stunning ending sequence but I just found the whole thing heartbreaking. I also love how Naruse avoids painting the husband as an outright villain. He's just a different, more pragmatic, less sensitive person than Hara's character... unsuited for her mostly :(

worm@work

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Re: Naruse Mikio - Director's Best
« Reply #59 on: January 22, 2013, 07:44:55 PM »
Sound of the Mountain | Naruse | 1954

I thought the family dynamics in Older Brother, Younger Sister were messed up but this just takes it to a whole other level. Initially, watching it right after Repast, this kept feeling like an inferior version of that movie. I think it had a lot to do with Naruse shifting the PoV on this to the Shingo character here. Plus, all the drama here felt more overwrought to me and I didn't really care what happened to the sister or the mistress and why are they on screen instead of Hara etc etc... I get that it's to portray a spectrum of women's position in Japanese society and such.. but whatevs. But then, the focus shifts back to Hara and then there's that utterly incredible ending scene in the park that's just this gorgeously choreographed push and pull between these two characters. I still like Repast better perhaps but this is the best ending I've seen from him.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2020, 12:58:09 PM by 1SO »