student of cinema @ Akdeniz U fine arts
At a distance, a boy grabs a stick and starts rubbing on the garden fences. He looks like a playful little kid. As he walks closer to camera we realize that he is an adolescent, and by a simultaneous widening of the scenery, we now realize that the garden is a graveyard indeed. Boy then walks into the graveyard and digs the ground with the stick, testing whether the soil is soft enough to bury his dad's long time frozen dead body. Great scene to stand at the core of a good movie.
Probably, the mysterious painter who was willing to go to Manchuria was Sadao Yamanaka, the director of Humanity and Paper Baloons (1937), a film yet to be watched. He seems to have a mysterious strong legacy on Japanese cinema, similar to Jean Vigo's phantom on French. I've read that Yamanaka has died in Manchuria, at a very young age, just at the start of a bright career.
This movie was the perfect end to our course on Japanese Cinema!
Starting from 1:15:35, Yukie comes to Noge's village, and the movie is suddenly hypnotically beautiful. It becomes extremely powerful from that point on, so very good that all the dull moments preceeding that, are immediately forgotten. Or to put it better, the preceeding shallow form of a love story within a political context, is transformed from that point on. Then, it suddenly transforms into the story of a woman searching for her own identity and self respect. Or perhaps, it…