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Public Discussions

GreenCine Movie Talk
From Albania to Zaire, there's a whole world out there.

Naruse: Long gone but not forgotten
Topic by: JGereben
Posted: December 28, 2005 - 9:41 AM PST
Last Reply: March 2, 2006 - 8:09 AM PST

author topic: Naruse: Long gone but not forgotten
post #1  on December 28, 2005 - 9:41 AM PST  
Well worth reading:
(Make sure the URL line doesn't break; the Chronicle is using impossible long strings)
- Janos
post #2  on December 28, 2005 - 9:47 AM PST  
One Click to the above article.
post #3  on December 28, 2005 - 9:58 AM PST  
> On December 28, 2005 - 9:47 AM PST pooja wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> One Click to the above article.
> ---------------------------------

Thanks, Pooja! I should have used tinyurl.

Maybe you can help with this too: I just searched GreenCine for any of Naruse's films, and couldn't find one. Be my guest with your better-than-advanced search?
- Janos
post #4  on December 28, 2005 - 10:21 AM PST  
I posted this elsewhere, but here is the complete listing for the Film Forum retrospective, Naruse: The Unknown Japanese Master, most of the films in the retro are traveling around the country.

Here is the program for Scattered Clouds: The Films of Mikio Naruse, which runs from January 12 to Febrary 18 at The Pacific Film Archive.
post #5  on December 28, 2005 - 10:32 AM PST  
> Maybe you can help with this too: I just searched GreenCine for any of Naruse's films, and couldn't find one.

That's because there aren't any DVDs of his films in this country.
post #6  on December 28, 2005 - 1:24 PM PST  
Seattle's Northwest Film Forum is running a ten film retrospective, Weathering the Storm: The Enduring Cinema of Mikio Naruse from January 20 to February 26.
post #7  on December 28, 2005 - 2:40 PM PST  
> On December 28, 2005 - 9:58 AM PST JGereben wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Maybe you can help with this too: I just searched GreenCine for any of Naruse's films, and couldn't find one. Be my guest with your better-than-advanced search?

Heh heh, Eo Uncle is correct... my "advanced" searching skills are of no use for this... in fact the article you linked says so... "Because he is the only major Japanese director not to have at least one film released on DVD in the United States, the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley again comes to the rescue..."
post #8  on December 31, 2005 - 12:19 PM PST  
At the National Gallery, Washington, DC

Japanese Master Mikio Naruse

Revered in Japan beside such masters as Yasujiro Ozu and Akira Kurosawa, Mikio Naruse (1905 - 1969) is now amassing accolades in the West. The first Japanese filmmaker to be reviewed in The New York Times (fourteen years before Kurosawas Rashomon), Naruse remained unknown despite championing by Susan Sontag, Phillip Lopate, and Donald Richie. Now, on the occasion of his centenary, a retrospective of preserved 35mm prints spanning the silent era to the age of CinemaScope has been prepared for North America through the efforts of film historian James Quandt and The Japan Foundation. Naruse eschewed the jidai-geki (period dramas), preferring contemporary dramas about the poor and lower-middle classes (shomin-geki). "Its a respect for his subject that commands our esteem," said historian Donald Richie, "a faithfulness to theme that generates a style." During March and April, the National Gallery joins the Freer Gallery of Art and the American Film Institute Theater in presenting this directors work. The four titles to be shown in March, are followed in April by six works from the 1960s. Special thanks to Cinémathèque Ontario and the Janus Collection. Naruse series continues through April 29.

Shinnen akemashite omedetou gozaimasu!
post #9  on February 8, 2006 - 5:02 PM PST  
Seattle NW Film Forum Retrospective

I've been watching many of the Naruse films in the retrospective and I have to say I find most of them a bit difficult. The acting is generally superb, but the subject matter is so Japanese (e.g. the trials and tribulations of aging geisha in post-war japan) that it's hard to figure out what all the fuss is about at times. I find myself asking why the seemingly boring lives we see on the screen are in anyway important. I realize that it probably has something to do with the ultimate passing of traditional japanese social customs and such. That doesn't reall help enjoying the films though.

Ozu, to give a contrasting example, presents characters in relationships that are more or less universal. I get them. I have a good intuitive sense of what is at stake in the interaction of the characters. With Naruse I don't. I have no idea what sort of relation might exist between a nearly retired (or is she?) geisha madame and a younger possibly competitive, possibly down and out protegé.

I'm not the only one with difficulties getting these films. Almost all of the showings I've been to have been to very restless audiences who were obviously having a hard time enjoying the films.

I think it's worthwhile to watch a few of these films to see what all the fuss is about. But I suspect that unless one knows a lot about Japanese culture, they aren't immediately enjoyable.
post #10  on March 2, 2006 - 8:09 AM PST  
Japanese Master Mikio Naruse, Washington, D.C. complete schedule & venues.

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