Saturday, June 24, 2006


The DVD title is mistakenly stated as "Okuni and Gohei" which is another movie directed by the same director, Naruse Mikio, in the same year of 1952. Saw "Lightning" a few years ago during the Naruse Mikio retrospective a few years ago at the Japanese Association and thought the film look suspicously similar to it from the opening scene. Quite confirmed that it is the same film when I finished watching it as I found several other scenes that look similar.

The story is about a family of an old woman and four children, each from different fathers. The youngest daughter, Kiyoko, is frustrated living in the family. Her eldest brother in law is unfaithful, her second sister hangs out with a rich guy and her brother is jobless and plays pachinko all day. She is also being pressured to marry the rich guy whom her second sisters hangs out with, whom she dislikes.

Interesting look at how the family members interacted with each other! Great acting by the actress who played Kiyoko! She looks quite cool in her bus conductress uniform! Found out from this link that the director has made another film on bus conductresses, "Hideko the Bus Conductress" a few years earlier! Would be great if I have the chance to watch that together with "When a Woman Ascends the Stairs" and "Yearning"!

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Roman Holiday

Just realised that I saw two 1953 film on the same day! Saw RH on Central but missed the first half an hour of it. The story is about a princess's adventure in Rome while on holiday there.

The princess, Ann, was given a tranquilizing shot when she tried to slip out from home but managed to escape anyway. She ended up sleeping on a bench and was taken home by a reporter, Bradley, who didn't know who she was at first. He then volunteered to show her around Rome. I began watching the film when they showed Ann deep in sleep on Bradley's bed.

Interesting to see how Bradley flipped Ann to a couch and she continued sleeping like nothing has happened! The adventures in Rome are interesting too! She walked along the streets, had a very nice haircut, rode on a scooter zipping through the busy traffic and danced in a party at night! Wouldn't be surprised if Rome used this film to promote tourism 50 years ago!

Internet Movie Database Link

The Wages of Fear

The story is about four men on a dangerous mission and the reward is high if they succeed! Their mission is to carry tonnes of explosives across treacherous terrain on an ordinary truck for an oil company and the reward is US$2500 per person.

The film describes the background of these people at the start. They stay in a South American village where there is nothing much to do but to drink and listen to music. The mission itself is very interesting as they encounter many obstacles along the way, much like "Worst Case Scenario" on AXN! Didn't really like the ending as I thought it felt a bit like an anti-climax.

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Older Brother, Younger Sister

The story is about how the family relationship changes when one daughter came home pregnant but unmarried. The village people talk about them behind their backs and it affected the propspective in-law's opinions of her younger sister as well. The older brother scolds her whenever she is home and the parents are stressed by the incident too.

Noticed the many different ways the film showed the sister reclining on the floor in a relaxed posture which is pretty interesting! The family relationship is portrayed very well and the buns made by the mother look delicious!

Internet Movie Database Link

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Golden Age

There is no clear storyline but plenty of strange images: scorpions fighting, a cow sitting peacefully on a bed, the pope being thrown off the window! All these are coupled with a recurring image of a pair of lovers getting interrupted by figures of authorities.

Read that the director is against repression of any sort including sexual repression which explains what that recurring image is about. There is also a very controversial image towards the end which makes "Da Vinci Code" tame in comparison!

Internet Movie Database Link

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

Bought some DVDs at the World Book Fair and this is one of them. The story is about how the lives of a married couple staying in a farm is affected by a temptress from the city.

Nice cinematography and I especially liked the special animation effects from the subtitles! Great suspense in the beginning and I was worried for the protagonists! Dragged a little bit in the middle but the film wrapped up everything pretty well in its closing scenes!

Internet Movie Database Link