Mon Apr 12 08:15:05 EDT 2004
I think that Boiling Point was one of Kitano's most interesting films. But
in general, I really like the composition and narrative in most of Kitano's
work. And even though we are all contidioned to take Brother as ordinary as
it relies heavily on overused cinematic codes,
I still find some entertainment value in that film... but maybe that's just
Aaron Gerow has also written an interesting article regarding some of
Kitano's earlier works and liminal locations. I think that it is a good
analysis of that emerging pattern in many of his works. If you put that
together with Wollen's counter cinema I think that we can come very close to
seeing Kitano's work as an emerging "national" cinema (as it coincides with
other established patterns in Japanese cinema).
It's a bit loose, but, it can be supported.
----- Original Message -----
From: "=%iso-8859-1%q?naguib=5Frazak?=" <naguib_razak at yahoo.com>
To: <KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu>
Sent: Sunday, April 11, 2004 1:31 PM
Subject: RE: Kitano
> My two cents worth:
> I remember seeing my first Kitano film, "Hana-bi", the
> opening film at the Singapore International Film
> Festival in 1998(?), and the festival director asked
> me right after with some conviction, "Wasn't that a
> powerful way to kick-off the festival?". I simply said
> Felt totally ambivalent towards the film then. It
> seemed to switch between violently-inflected moments
> of cool-macho-bravado and deep, wordless,
> introspective contemplation.
> Strong as both currents were, they seemed to belong to
> different films then.
> But the film stayed with me, and haunted me for a long
> time after that. Eventually, I found myself
> championing and lobbying the film to all my film-buff
> friends who weren't yet so well acquianted with
> Kitano's works.
> By then, I felt he pulled off a tremendous balance or
> harmony between the at-times volatile, at-times comic
> external world of good cops & bad hats against the
> delicate and indescribable realm of pure sentiment (of
> loss, yearning, sympathy and despair).
> Sadly, I do not find this superb balance nor harmony,
> which in itself represents a bold and original view of
> life or reality in itself, in either his subsequent or
> previous works (though i've only seen a handful).
> "Sonatine" and "Kids Return" appear to address some
> similar themes or notions, from somewhat different
> entry-points, but neither reaches the full power and
> poetry "Hana-bi".
> "Brother" doesn't seem even worth a discussion; whilst
> "Zatoichi" doesn't seem to take itself very seriously,
> and perhaps was not intended to be, though the film
> had its moments for me.
> So my point is? well, i don't know what my point
> really is...
> I guess "Hana-bi" was special, but that's about it
> with Kitano...
> --- Fergus MacDermot <macdermotfergus at hotmail.com>
> wrote: > >being maudlin and verging on TV-movie trite.
> I do
> > >agree that "Zatochi" is a fun, artful return to
> > form.
> > I did enjoy Zatoichi but I thought it lacked the
> > darkness of the originals
> > (I've only seen 3 from the 60s) and there was a
> > numberof points that
> > bothered me, chiefly.
> > When he goes gambling and notices the dice are
> > switched, he suddenly flaes
> > up and cuts them to pieces. Great action but
> > shouldn't he be slightly harder
> > to provoke? If he was that fiery, I don't care how
> > good a swordsman you
> > were, you'd soon be dead.
> > The other one is the ending. Why make us question
> > whether he is blind or not
> > (this has probably been covered in this list already
> > but I'm new. Feel free
> > to ignore, oint to the thread). "I can't see even
> > with my eyes open" is
> > hugely ambiguous, especially after tripping over -
> > something that didn't
> > happen when he was blind. Remember when he stepped
> > over the Asano's
> > characters leg?
> > Lovely use of rhythm though.
> > fergus
> > >--- Mark Mays <tetsuwan at comcast.net> wrote:
> > > > > I do agree that "Zatochi" is a fun, artful
> > return
> > > > > to form.
> > > >
> > > > When did he careen away from form?
> > >
> > >I might be mistaken, but I believe there was a
> > general
> > >feeling that "Dolls", while beautiful to look at,
> > was
> > >not up to snuff--unless form is viewed purely in
> > >technical/visual terms; then, no, he hasn't
> > careened
> > >away from form. Even so, I found "Kikujiro" and
> > >"Brother" to be weak compared to some of his
> > earlier
> > >films--and "Hana Bi" as well, although apparently
> > I'm
> > >a bit alone in my feelings about it. I should add
> > >that I was so ready to dislike "Dolls" from all
> > that
> > >I'd read about it that I found myself rather liking
> > it
> > >(wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting, I guess).
> > >
> > >Anyway, Mark, care to elaborate on your thoughts
> > about
> > >Kitano's work? Form? I'd be very curious to get
> > your
> > >take.
> > >
> > >Mitch
> > >
> > >=====
> > >Most recent propaganda (updated when I remember):
> > >http://www.smart.co.uk/dreams/tidecull.htm
> > >http://www.fetchbook.info/Mitch_Cullin.html
> > >http://www.corpse.org/issue_8/reviews/phelan.htm
> > >http://uk.news.yahoo.com/020613/242/d11q6.html
> > >http://www.minsky.com/branches.htm
> > >
> > >"As the movie industry becomes more like the
> > merchandising industry, the
> > >book business becomes more like the movie industry.
> > There's more pressure.
> > > I think it's very difficult to be a young writer
> > today. I fear that
> > >young writers, after one or two books, will
> > disappear the way young film
> > >directors do." --Don DeLillo
> > Express yourself with cool new emoticons
> > http://www.msn.co.uk/specials/myemo
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