radicalism in film

John Dougill dougill
Tue Sep 21 01:17:14 EDT 1999

>I definitely do not think he's a
>Maoist or Leninist, or that the use of such images is intended as a call
>for a similar kind of revolution.  To me, it is mostly a kind of
>eccentricity which livens up Harada's sometimes too-neatly-structured
>films, but I wondered what others think?
There was an interesting interview by Mark Schilling in the Sunday Japan
Times which gave an insight into Harada's thinking on this point.  He
apparently feels that the present situation in Japan is a revolutionary
moment akin to the Meiji restoration when the country has to choose a new
future or be mired in an outmoded past.  He evidently sees the present
'revolution' as being a move towards an open, transparent, fair and just
society rather than being in any way Marxist, but I guess he identifies it
with the Maoist revolution as being historical and radical in nature.

Here's a quote: 'The middle-aged men in 'Jubaku' live within the system,
but they are fighting a war (for control of the bank).....In a way it's
like the Meiji Resotration.  I even told that to the actors playing the
four middle managers for the scene in which they confront the op executives
in the hotel suite......I told them these characters are like the young
guys from the Meiji Restoration era - they're attacking the older samurai,
the old establishment.  So I said they should have that kind of energy,
that kind of turbulence - the feeling that 'We are making history.'"

Incidentally, Harada thinks he's on a winner - 'If it's sent to the Academy
people, I'm 99 percent sure it's going to be nominated (for an Oscar).'
And just to curry favour, he's included a Kurosawa homage by saying he
learnt about handling large groups of characters from him and even
employing some of the actors from Kurosawa' 'High and Low'.

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