Japanese train films

Faith Bach faithbach at yahoo.co.jp
Fri Sep 12 08:10:25 EDT 2008

High & Low is certainly the best!
For specifically Nostalgic trains, nobody seems to have mentioned yet  
the wonderful long rattling trip to Tokyo from Kyoto in Mizoguchi's  
Gion Bayashi (1954), or the luminous final onboard scene in his Waga  
Koe wa Moenu (1949), which really is worth sitting thru the whole  
film for.  Not to mention the two (count 'em!) absolutely classic  
"leaving-on-a-Meiji-period-train" scenes central to his Zangiku  
Monogatari (1939, but also in the other two less inspired versions,  
1956 & 1963).  And one can hardly leave out the end of Ozu's Ukigusa   
(1959) with Kyo Machiko & Ganjiro II in perhaps their best respective  
moments of cinema acting;  nor the ditto of his 1957 Tokyo Boshoku  
with Yamada Isuzu at the train window...
There is also a weird & wonderful "muri shinju" murder scene on and  
off a train platform in Naruse's 1960 Yoru no Nagare, quite a shocker.
Better stop while I still can!

Faith Bach
On Sep 12, 2008, at 3:57 PM, Peter Grilli wrote:

> One of the alltime greatest train sequences in the history of  
> movies is the ransom-money drop from the Shinkansen in Kurosawa's   
> Tengoku to Jigoku ("High & Low" ).
> For a station scene, I love the tense scene near the end of  
> Kurosawa's Nora Inu ("Stray Dog"), in which detective Mifune  
> Toshiro suspiciously eyes all the people in the waiting room of a  
> little suburban station, desperately trying to identify which one  
> is the killer.
> There are so many trains in Japanese movies one doesn't know where  
> to begin.  Others have already mentioned many train scenes.
> One rarely seen film that is full of trains is  Tooi ippon no  
> michi  ("The Far Road") -- actress Hidari Sachiko's 1977 debut film  
> as a director in a narrative about a stationmaster's family.
> Speaking of Hidari, I recall train scenes in her 1955 film for  
> Tasaka Tomotaka Jochukko ("The Maid's Kid")
> And then there's Ichikawa's 1957 Mannin Densha  ("A Full-Up Train")  
> and the unforgettable train scene at the beginning of the various  
> different film versions of Kawabata Yasunari's novel Yukiguni  
> ("Snow Country"), and the long journey in Yamada Yoji's Kazoku  
> ("Family").
> Just about every Japanese film with the word "furusato" (hometown)  
> in the title has a train journey in it and a nostalgic journey home.
> Some other memorable Japanese train stations appear in Imamura  
> Shohei's 1955 Nishi-Ginza Eki-mae  ("In Front of Nishiginza  
> Station") and Toyoda Shiro's 1955 Mugi-bue ("Grass Whistle")
> Not exactly a station, but the final scenes of Shinoda Masahiro's  
> beautiful 1977 film Hanare-goze Orin ("Banished Orin" or "Melody in  
> Gray") show railroad track being laid in a steep mountain pass   
> (and I also recall several trains-in-the landscape scenes in that  
> film as Orin travels through Tsuruga and Ura-Nippon.
> There's also a powerful train scene at the end of Kobayashi's great  
> (but rarely seen) 1968 film Nihon no seishun  ("Youth of Japan" or   
> "Diary of a Tired Man").
> One odd sequence involving train stations is the party scene in  
> Kurosawa's 1993 film Maada-dayo ("Not Yet"), at which a drunken  
> partygoer takes it upon himself to recite the names of every train  
> station on the main train line from the north of Hokkaido to the  
> very south of Kagoshima.
> And don't forget Kurosawa's script Runaway Train, which was finally  
> made into a movie of the same name in 1985, directed by Andrei  
> Konchalovsky and starring Jon Voight.
> It's hard to know where to stop listing train scenes in Japanese  
> films.  There are many, many, many more.....!
> Peter Grilli
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Brian Ruh" <brianruh at yahoo.com>
> To: "KineJapan" <kinejapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu>
> Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2008 9:27 PM
> Subject: Japanese train films
> > Since reading this article [1] in the Japan Times, I've been  
> thinking about Japanese trains. (I love things like subway cars and  
> trains. I think it stems from growing up in a place where there  
> wasn't anything like that.) Can anyone recommend any good Japanese  
> films that prominently feature trains, stations, etc.? (When I try  
> a Google search on the subject, I'm inundated with results for  
> Densha Otoko.)
> >
> > Any time period or genre would be great. (I particularly like the  
> train scenes in Shinkai Makoto's "5 Centimeters Per Second" even  
> though they're animated.) Thanks in advance!
> >
> > [1] http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20080909jk.html
> >
> > Best,
> > Brian
> >
> > Brian's Essential Reading:
> > http://www.oshiibook.com
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > No virus found in this incoming message.
> > Checked by AVG.
> > Version: 7.5.524 / Virus Database: 270.6.20/1666 - Release Date:  
> 9/11/2008 7:03 AM
> >
> >

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://mailman.yale.edu/pipermail/kinejapan/attachments/20080912/19a84410/attachment.html 

More information about the KineJapan mailing list